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Cyclists and Vans in perfect harmony?

We have designed a funky four-wheeled solution to help solve the bicycle parking shortage in the Bankside area.

Our innovative and practical solution reuses old removal vans to create secure, mobile, high-density three-tier cycle parking. It is an alternative solution to traditional cycle shelters or lockers which are often expensive to install and require space or planning permission. The van is painted in an eye-catching pink to match the corporate colours of Better Bankside.

Over 50 architectural practices took part in the Bankside Bikeshed Competition and our proposal was one of few to be selected for exhibition at the Better Bankside Community Space in London.

The Architecture Foundation launched this international design competition which called for designs of a modular, portable and secure cycle parking solution on behalf of Better Bankside Business Improvement District (BID). The Bankside area is a busy and high profile part of London with a mix of businesses, residences, markets, amenities, art galleries and museums. The competition highlights the problem of finding space for cycle parking in London.

Inspired by pop up stalls along the Southbank and the Dunwich Dynamo bike ride where over 500 bicycles are packed into 5 large removal vehicles for the return journey, our proposal created a valet style bicycle parking which could store up to 60 bicycles on 3 levels within each vehicle.

This would be a manned valet type cycle service where users pay a small charge per day with bicycle maintenance service available weekly. The vans would be permanently parked in suspended bays or on public squares to provide conveniently located cycle parking for workers or visitors to the area. When not in use or during winter periods it could be easily relocated.

By using a van, it could also be a mobile solution to serve a wider area where a series of ‘Bike Stop’ signs installed on streets inform users of opening hours and locations.

Bankside Bikeshed generated a remarkable number of inspiring submissions. The jury, including Deborah Saunt, Director, DSDHA; Ashok Sinha, Chief Executive, London Cycling Campaign; Sarah Ichioka, Director, The Architecture Foundation and Jonathan Bell Architecture Editor, Wallpaper* magazine. The winning design will be announced at the end of March and prototyped in May 2011.