Norway’s new ‘Bicycle Hotel’ turns storage unit into new public space

Norway is promoting cycling across the country by investing in ‘bicycle hotels’ – storage facilities by railway stations that double as new public spaces.

Oslo studio Various Architects have designed the a prototype Lillestrøm, which is frequently voted Norway’s best cycling city.

Commissioned by real estate firm ROM Eiendom and The Norwegian National Railways, the Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel consists of a glass box in which to store bikes and a free form wooden roof which can be accessed by the public via a ramp. The latter, covered by green sedum roofing, acts as a viewpoint and meeting space that faces towards the main square.

The transparent glass walls allow natural light to filter through during the day and transform the building into a glowing box at night. The use of other exposed and raw materials, such as concrete, steel, wood and green sedum, reference the local context.

“The principle of the design concept, the materials and the structure of the building was to create something exposed and honest,” said Various Architects in a statement. “The shape
of the roof is a simple single curved structure, with a diagonal slope to maintain its dynamic form and to allow rain drainage. The wooden roof lays on thin steel columns, liberating the roof to be perceived as a separate floating element.”

The adjacent Lillestrøm Train Station is one of the largest and most important transport hubs in the Skedsmo municipality, which is in the process of improving its cycle network in the city centre.

If the Bicycle Hotel is a success, the model could be expanded elsewhere in the country.

(healthclubmanagement)