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Bicycle Shed Design Competition

This past December I was asked to jury The St. Paul Prize Design Competition 2008. A somewhat unusual role for me as I'm not an architect, a designer, nor a member of the St. Paul Chapter of the American Institute of Architects who sponsored the event. However, I do own a bike shop that's dedicated to cycling as transportation. As luck would have it, architect Eric Lagerquist (Smithgroup) was in the shop to pick up a copy of VeloVision, and asked if I would participate.

The judges included six designers/architects, myself and my friend who is car-free and a Minneapolis city bus driver. The entries were presentation boards as well as written explanation of the designers intent. All of the entries were exciting and well done. Everyone did a nice job of making it look fun and easy to commute via bike and bus.

Participants in the competition were local architectural interns. The programmatic requirements were minimal in order to allow a more free hand for the aspiring designers. They were given two real locations with a few constraints for each:

White Bear Location
• Storage for 50 Bicycles
• Two single occupant toilet rooms, ADA compliant - 80 s.f.
• Coffee Hut – 50 s.f.
• Work Space for attendant/repair man – 100 s.f.
• Ticket Sales Kiosk
• Integrated Renewable Energy Element

Como Location
• Storage for 20 Bicycles
• Ticket Sales Kiosk
• Integrated Renewable Energy Element

Typically the simpler designs faired better than more complex ones. (It's true, less is more.) Not only were they cleaner solutions, but they would be easier to maintain, less expensive to build and more portable. One of the more complex designs was made of hexagonal glass sheets put together in a honeycomb style. It was inspired by the designers own carbon fiber bike frame. Everyone agreed it was spectacular, but the cost of building and maintaining it would most likely keep it on the drawing board, particularly in this economy.

One thought on “Bicycle Shed Design Competition”

  • Eric Lagerquist
    Eric Lagerquist March 28, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Luke - It was great to have you and Chris participate in the jury for the design competition. It was nice to have potential users who are not designer put their two cents in and be a voice of reason. Eric

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