flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

The recipe for bicycle kitchens

Multifamily Housing

The recipe for bicycle kitchens

Bike storage and workshop spaces are rapidly turning into full-service social amenity spaces in multifamily projects.


By David Malone, Associate Editor | August 2, 2018
The recipe for bicycle kitchens

Using racks that stack bikes vertically saves space and enables more residents of Brooklyn’s Caesura mixed-use building, designed by Dattner Architects, to securely store their bicycles. Photo: Dattner Architects

Bicycling has become a preferred means of environmentally friendly, fun, and healthy transportation for millions of America’s apartment, condo, and townhouse dwellers.

From 2008 to 2017, bicycle ridership in the U.S. grew 40%, from 47 million to 66 million, according to Statistica.com. Couple the dramatic increase in cyclists with the fact that U.S. households are renting at higher rates than at any time in the past 50 years, and multifamily developers and their project teams are left with no choice but to include bicycle storage and maintenance high on their list of amenities.

In fact, this publication’s exclusive Multifamily Amenities 2017 survey (https://bit.ly/2eZMluw) found that two-thirds of respondents (66.5%) had included “secure bicycle storage” in recent projects. 

 

A multifamily project designed by Denver architectural firm Kephart features a bicycle kitchen with an easily accessible wash station, work table, and workbench with tools for repairs and maintenance. Photo: Kephart

 

“Every project we design has bike storage of some type, whether it is standard racks on the street, individual private lockers, or hundreds of bikes stored in a stacker configuration in the parking garage,” said Nathan Sciarra, AIA, Associate Principal, KTGY Architecture + Planning, Denver.

Bicycle amenity spaces can be divided into three distinct types: storage only (bike parking, storage racks); bike storage with workshop space (pumps, basic tools, wash area); and the latest variant, bicycle kitchens (more intensive workshop areas combined with an added social element).

A bicycle kitchen is a luxury amenity that is very appealing to a growing group of multifamily dwellers. “I would describe them as bicycle clubhouses, where like-minded residents mingle, collaborate, share stories and adventures, and create connections,” said Bobby Long, Principal, Kephart. Considerable thought needs to go into the aesthetics and comfort of bicycle kitchens.

According to the design experts we consulted, there are certain features no bicycle kitchen should be without: large-screen TVs with cable service, WiFi, comfortable furniture that encourages gathering and relaxation, good lighting, and bicycle-themed artwork that brands the space. (One even has a sculpture made from bicycle parts.) No self-respecting cyclist wants to hang out in a poorly lit, uninviting, eldritch space reminiscent of the local auto shop.

Storage and workshop aspects cannot be ignored. Space for tools and repair equipment, storage racks with ample clearance for loading and unloading onto cars, accessory storage for helmets and bags, and an area for washing bikes must be accounted for.

Creating the perfect bicycle kitchen is all about finding the ideal balance between a workshop and a social space, said Jimmy Sinis, Senior Design Manager and Senior Associate, Stantec.

“Spaces like this foster a sense of community among residents,” said KTGY’s Sciarra. “To be considered a full bicycle kitchen, the design must incorporate comfortable seating, entertainment opportunities, and more. Then it’s more a kitchen than a repair space.”

Not every multifamily project needs a full bicycle kitchen, but bicycle storage of some kind has become a necessity for most new apartment and condo enterprises.

 

RATIOS, RATIOS, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE RATIOS

Then there are those pesky zoning requirements and resident-to-space ratios to consider. Having too little—or even too much—room can impair the functionality of bicycle storage areas.

In some jurisdictions, local zoning law dictates the required ratio of bike storage spaces to apartment units. Washington, D.C., requires one bike parking space for every three residential units (the same as LEED). Some designers feel that’s not enough bike storage space to meet residents’ expectations.

 

A metal ramp in a Boulder View (Colo.) community designed by KTGY Architecture + Planning runs along the edge of the stairs for easier shifting of bikes between floors. Photo: KTGY Architecture + Planning

 

According to Sciarra, the ideal ratio depends a lot on where the project is located. In urban areas with easy access to stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues, one bicycle space for every two units should work. (According to Ira Mitchneck, AIA, Senior Associate, New York–based Dattner Architects has found this ratio to work just fine in its projects, which are primarily in dense urban areas.) In suburban locations where more residents probably have a car, the ratio can be lowered to one storage space for every four or five units, said Sciarra.

Determining the best ratio of bike storage spaces to automobile parking spaces is more complicated. Miami’s zoning code, known as Miami 21, is a form-based system that relies on New Urbanism and Smart Buildings principles. It requires one bike storage space for every 20 parking spaces. Other jurisdictions allow for fewer vehicle parking spaces as the number of bike storage spaces increases.

“We don’t believe the correlation is that simple,” Sciarra said. “In our experience, the number of parking spaces and bike storage is driven more by location and the bike culture of that location.”

Kephart’s Long agrees. “I don’t think we’re looking at any specific ratios,” he said. “Each project is so specific, based on adjacency to bike lanes and paths and the specific bike culture.” Meaning whether—and how much—residents use their bikes for commuting, shopping, recreation, and physical training. “It’s certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Long.

Related Stories

Mixed-Use | Dec 7, 2022

Bjarke Ingels’ first design project in South America is poised to open next year in Ecuador

In 2013, Quito, Ecuador’s capital, opened its new airport, which had been relocated from the metro’s center to an agricultural site 12 miles northeast of the city. Since then, Quito’s skyline has been reshaped by new, vertical structures that include the 24-story mixed-use EPIQ Residences, designed in the shape of a quarter circle by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

High-rise Construction | Dec 7, 2022

SOM reveals its design for Singapore’s tallest skyscraper

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has revealed its design for 8 Shenton Way—a mixed-use tower that will stand 63 stories and 305 meters (1,000 feet) high, becoming Singapore’s tallest skyscraper. The design team also plans to make the building one of Asia’s most sustainable skyscrapers. The tower incorporates post-pandemic design features.

Multifamily Housing | Dec 7, 2022

Canada’s largest net-zero carbon residential community to include affordable units

The newly unveiled design for Canada’s largest net-zero carbon residential community includes two towers that will create a new destination within Ottawa and form a striking gateway into LeBreton Flats. The development will be transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use, and include unprecedented sustainability targets. Dream LeBreton is a partnership between real estate companies Dream Asset Management, Dream Impact, and local non-profit MultiFaith Housing Initiative.

Student Housing | Dec 7, 2022

Cornell University builds massive student housing complex to accommodate planned enrollment growth

In Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University has completed its North Campus Residential Expansion (NCRE) project. Designed by ikon.5 architects, the 776,000-sf project provides 1,200 beds for first-year students and 800 beds for sophomore students. The NCRE project aimed to accommodate the university’s planned growth in student enrollment while meeting its green infrastructure standards. Cornell University plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

Multifamily Housing | Dec 6, 2022

Austin's new 80-story multifamily tower will be the tallest building in Texas

Recently announced plans for Wilson Tower, a high-rise multifamily building in downtown Austin, Texas, indicate that it will be the state’s tallest building when completed. The 80-floor structure will rise 1,035 feet in height at 410 East 5th Street, close to the 6th Street Entertainment District, Austin Convention Center, and a new downtown light rail station.

Multifamily Housing | Dec 6, 2022

Miami-Dade County will allow accessory dwelling units

Commissioners in Miami-Dade County, Fla., recently voted to allow many single-family homeowners to rent out accessory dwelling units on their property. Many homeowners will be allowed to rent out garages, separate quarters, or detached backyard apartments if they meet certain standards including for lot size and parking.

Multifamily Housing | Dec 6, 2022

Support for multifamily rent control legislation grows as metros face big rent hikes

Steep rent increases during the pandemic recovery have spurred support for rent control legislation in several areas of the country.

Mixed-Use | Dec 6, 2022

Houston developer plans to convert Kevin Roche-designed ConocoPhillips HQ to mixed-use destination

Houston-based Midway, a real estate investment, development, and management firm, plans to redevelop the former ConocoPhillips corporate headquarters site into a mixed-use destination called Watermark District at Woodcreek.

Multifamily Housing | Nov 29, 2022

Number of office-to-apartment conversion projects has jumped since start of pandemic

As remote work rose and demand for office space declined since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, developers have found converting some offices to residential use to be an attractive option. Apartment conversions rose 25% in the two years since the start of the pandemic, with 28,000 new units converted from other property types, according to a report from RentCafe. 

Multifamily Housing | Nov 22, 2022

10 compelling multifamily developments debut in 2022

A smart home tech-focused apartment complex in North Phoenix, Ariz., and a factory conversion to lofts in St. Louis highlight the notable multifamily developments to debut recently.

boombox1 - default
boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category


High-rise Construction

SOM reveals its design for Singapore’s tallest skyscraper

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) has revealed its design for 8 Shenton Way—a mixed-use tower that will stand 63 stories and 305 meters (1,000 feet) high, becoming Singapore’s tallest skyscraper. The design team also plans to make the building one of Asia’s most sustainable skyscrapers. The tower incorporates post-pandemic design features.


Multifamily Housing

Canada’s largest net-zero carbon residential community to include affordable units

The newly unveiled design for Canada’s largest net-zero carbon residential community includes two towers that will create a new destination within Ottawa and form a striking gateway into LeBreton Flats. The development will be transit-oriented, mixed-income, mixed-use, and include unprecedented sustainability targets. Dream LeBreton is a partnership between real estate companies Dream Asset Management, Dream Impact, and local non-profit MultiFaith Housing Initiative.


Student Housing

Cornell University builds massive student housing complex to accommodate planned enrollment growth

In Ithaca, N.Y., Cornell University has completed its North Campus Residential Expansion (NCRE) project. Designed by ikon.5 architects, the 776,000-sf project provides 1,200 beds for first-year students and 800 beds for sophomore students. The NCRE project aimed to accommodate the university’s planned growth in student enrollment while meeting its green infrastructure standards. Cornell University plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.

halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 



Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: