Wednesday, October 7, 2009

On Architecture

'It's the new bicycle parking terminal outside Union Station in Washington, DC. Opening very soon, if not already. There'll be, if I recall correctly, parking for 150 bicycles, a shop/workshop, changing rooms for the cyclists who go too fast [:-)] and lockers. Outside of opening hours subscribers can gain access with a card.

It's a useful and practical addition to the city but it's much, much more than that. Firstly, it's an eye-catching design. A little architectural monument. It sends many more signals than "see, I'm a pretty, modern building!" It sends signals to the city at large that the bicycle isn't really going anywhere. That the people riding bicycles you're seeing around town are here to stay. There may even be more on the way. Get used to it.

It's an important visual landmark that with it's permanence is telling the citizens that bicycles are, and deserve to be, an accepted, respected and increasingly established transport form.'


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