KPG Design Studio not hiding their bike love

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A velomobile with a stamped aluminium monocoque chassis. The chassis becomes the frame. By jingo, I love the way architects think! This is from KPG Design Studio. I believe their resident bike nut is Donald Paine. He designed the Washington Bikestation (below), a building that celebrates bikes as a cathedral does god, and remains one of the seven wonders of bicycle transport (or so sayeth me).

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It is not in architects’ makeup to see bikes as toys or sporting equipment. I think we’re hardwired toward saving the world—or at least making it elegant as it goes down. So naturally KPG want to show us how their velomobiles fit into the city, with the automatic retrieval system pictured below. After the success of their Washington Bikestation the firm is evidently going after bike infrastructure commissions in a serious way.

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They have rejigged their website to highlight bike projects and bridges ahead of the commercial and institutional projects that architects usually put first on their websites, because those usually make the most money. But maybe bicycling projects will be the big earners in years to come? Other firms with websites good for “Bikespiration” are ArtgineeringWest-8, BIG, and JDS — in roughly that order. And for inspiration when making your next architectural model, how about this:

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About Steven

I'm on a mission to put cycling on the agendas of architects, urban designers and fellow academics, who see the potential for bicycles to change cities and buildings. My PhD is in architectural history and my interdisciplinary research spans art theory, philosophy and cultural studies. I teach architectural history and theory and design studio at The University of Tasmania, Australia, and formerly worked as an architect designing large public housing projects in Singapore. My favourite bikes are a titanium racing bike I use for racing, a Velorbis retro commuter for riding to cafes and work, a single speed ultra light Brompton that I take with me when I travel on planes, a 29er hard tail mountain bike that I get lost on in remote places, an old track bike that scares me, a 1984 Colnago Super with all original campagnolo components that is plugged into a virtual realm that I train in, and a Dutch-made Bakfiets, that could easily replace half of the bikes I just mentioned.
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