Day 132/365 of Steel – The Fietsappel

Inauguration of the Fietsappel in Alphen aan de Rijn (18/08/2010)

The Fietsappel ("Bicycle Apple")
Fig 1: The Fietsappel (“Bicycle Apple”)
Photo: KuiperCompagnons

In my journey through the history of steel in construction, design & art, today I’m taking a look at a somewhat smaller scale project, but no less interesting. All too often, bicycle sheds are banal, if not ugly, buildings. More often than not, bicycles are stored in underground parking garages, where people do not always consider the (lack of) safety of the cyclist.

The Fietsappel ("Bicycle Apple")
Fig 2: The Fietsappel (“Bicycle Apple”)
Photo: KuiperCompagnons

Inspired by a surrealistic illustration of a peeled apple, KuiperCompagnons designed a steel construction. Alphen aan den Rijn found an exciting object in this which could not only provide the renovated Stationsplein with a special landmark, but could also solve the problem of the haphazardly parked bicycles in one fell swoop. The 15.5 meters high steel structure with a diameter of 27.5 meters provides space for 970 bicycles. The Bicycle Apple looks like a recognizable, simply designed object. But when you take a closer look at the three-dimensional design, you will discover that no detail is the same.

Bike Park by BureauVanEig/Biq Architects centrally situated at the campus of TU Delft
Fig 3: Bike Park by BureauVanEig/Biq Architects centrally situated at the campus of TU Delft
Photo: Riccardo de Vecchi/Courtesy of BYCS

I have added a few other striking bicycle sheds as an illustration. Cities and towns can add interesting architecture, while solving the problem of randomly parked bicycles.

The Bicycle Garage / Tengbom in Sweden
Fig 4: The Bicycle Garage / Tengbom in Sweden
Photo: © Felix Gerlach

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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