Last year I wrote this little blog post, calling out Renzo Piano for his career-long neglect of bike parking. If you don’t believe me, take this little challenge: try wheeling your bike to within 20 meters of any of Renzo’s buildings, and see what reaction you get from security. I have been forbidden from leaving my folded up Brompton with the folded up prams in the Pompidou Centre. Security came running at me when I wheeled a borrowed Velorbis past the moonscape entrance to Renzo’s museum in Chicago. Then my written request to do trials stunts on the roof of the Saint Padre Pio pilgrimage church got no reply! Even when bike parking has been part of his brief, it has failed to appear, to wit: his NYTimes building.
A fellow architect/cyclist likewise incensed by Renzo’s apparent distain for the bike, is my colleague Tom Hatton, who sent me his vision for the Fiat Factory turned into a bicycling centre. Renzo was selected to do the additions to this iconic building, because of his expertise in alternative transport parking solutions. If you happen to be in Turin, please let us know how close you can park your bike to this building. Or has the architect provided more spots for people arriving by helicopter?
What other famous architects have not caught up with the times? Do let me know. I’m compiling a list.