Norway is already considered one of the most bicycle-friendly places on earth, but one city there is making that ring even more true. Thanks to the Bicycle Hotel (or sykkel hotell), traveling on two wheels has never been more convenient.
Located next to the train station in Lillestrøm, the Bicycle Hotel was built to make commuting by bike a much more attractive choice. As a public place, it offers more than 5,000 square feet for storing bikes. Better yet, you don’t have to worry about a wet seat since the storage area is completely enclosed. Bicycle Hotels like this are being commissioned by the Norwegian National Railways as a public space. They have been popping up near railway stations throughout the nation.
Thanks to its modern design, the structure is friendly to both bikers and the general public. It was designed by Various Architects AS to be deceptively simple. The construction features beautiful, transparent glass walls and a freeform wooden roof. The walls fill the space with natural light during the day and glow from the interior lights at night. Thin gaps are purposely placed between the glass panels to allow natural ventilation.
Such a structure could have easily stopped there, but the designers wanted this Bicycle Hotel to send a message. By taking a set of stairs, you can enjoy a green rooftop with sloping ramps and benches. There, people are free to sit down to enjoy the rooftop view of the city.
Thanks to the green design, the building has incredibly low energy consumption. The green sedum on the roof absorbs rainwater to provide natural insulation from extreme heat and cold. In combination with the ventilated glass walls, the result is a structure that only requires a small amount of energy to illuminate the lights at night.
The wonderful Bicycle Hotel officially opened its doors just last month, offering a safe place to store your bike for a small charge. Hopefully, other areas will learn from its success. With many cities looking for ways to reduce greenhouse gasses and cut down on traffic, Norway demonstrates an elegant solution.