Cycle Superhub | Rotterdam
Master of Architecture
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NB. Views and opinions of students in the degree show are their own and do not represent the views of the University.
The Cycle Superhub is a proposal designed to re-invigorate interest in cycling among the city dwellers of Rotterdam. Having seen that Rotterdam’s cycle usage was considerably down from the national average, and in relation to certain Dutch cities, nearly 3 times less favoured, I believed there was an opportunity to aid bringing cycling back to the forefront of Rotterdam’s primary modes of travel.
Rotterdam was hit hard during the second world war, and during its postwar rebirth, the city was modelled more around the automobile rather than the cyclist. This has over the years, led to a greater reliance on the automobile here than in any other Dutch city.
With the climate concerns ever more present today than before, I believe that Rotterdam has the answer to its own, and the worlds transport issues already engrained into its infrastructure.
The city of Rotterdam is clearly interested in making this change happen; cycle paths already are a prominent fixture in the city. There are other projects such as the centraal station cycle park which clearly put forward this mandate. By optimising cycle usage in Rotterdam, the city can become an example to the rest of the world on how easy it can be to transition from cars to cycling.
The buildings location at Eendrachtsplien was chosen for a number of factors. The location is a calm space not too far from the busy cool district, but also adjacent to museumpark. The site is also within close proximity to the residential oude western district. This unique location, also on 2 primary arterial routes across the city, happens to combine both proximity to tourists and locals, but also be within easy reach of the city centre and the calmer areas of museumpark to the south east.
The Cycle Superhub caters for all people of all ages, and is designed to encourage cycle use in a friendly and light hearted manner. The building connects in with the existing cycle infrastructure, by measure of a series of entrance slopes feeding from the existing cycle path in front of the building. This allows cyclists to simply ride in & out unhindered, while also adding in a sense of excitement to the journey.
The building was designed around the experience from both the perspective of a local resident and a tourist alike. Inside, the building features a repair workshop, bike sales area, a comprehensive parts department, a large café, barbers shop, clothing shop and also houses the first purpose built bicycle museum in the entire country. The museum also features a special ‘ride the exhibits’ feature, where by those who wish can try out a collection some of the more unusual bikes the museum has offered on display.
The exterior form has been created through the proportionality of a cyclist riding along, and the primary structural columns have been left exposed. The 72 columns, arranged such there are 9 pairs of 4 columns, are the same as would be found on a typical bicycle wheel.
The Superhub’s useful nature coupled with both enjoyment and nodal centricity as a city landmark will, as time progresses, optimise Rotterdam’s cycling potential and lead to a greener, calmed and more enjoyable city.