The brief of this project was given as “A Bicycle Place.” Reinterpreted to be more than just a place, a network, and a large-scale infrastructure, the design of the ‘place’ that was to be constructed had to be approached in a sensitive manner. Singapore’s high accessibility to vehicles and pedestrians stopped short for cyclists. It was then decided that a building would not suffice, the whole issue of a transport infrastructure designated for bicycle-users needs to be addressed.
Bicycles – the simple machine on wheels, was the main driver of the design. The suspension device on the bicycle was an influence on the concept of adaptability of the building – there was that need for the building to be built at any location given limited materials. Thus it was designed for the architecture to compliment the existing park connector network (PCN). Additional facilities, such as washrooms, shower cubicles, parking spaces and repair shops, will aim to increase the frequency of usage of the PCN. For example, the Facility for Bicycle Haemorrhage based in Pasir Ris acts as the main node for the neighbourhood of Pasir Ris, servicing most of the bicycles and catering to most of the users. This creates the prototypical model for the main node of the bicycle network. As human density pushes the need for facilities to be built, we will see many other nodes sprouting in various places. Schools where parents send their children to on bicycles, will need parking spaces and a waiting area, and possibly a café. Markets will need parking spaces and a small shop that can retrofit a shopping basket onto your bicycle etc. etc.
The architecture thus needs to employ a method of construction that can be easily carried out throughout Singapore. Architecture is broken down into an equation: FLOOR + WALL + ROOF. The floor will be made of concrete poured on site, so we only need to deal with the WALL + ROOF aspect. Now, as we can see in the panels, the structure that covers the building serves both functions. This WALL + ROOF feature is then fragmented to the different elements that make it up: the skeletal portion being formed by a structure and a tension member, and the skin shaped by an ETFE membrane. Because the WALL + ROOF utilizes a modular system of assembly, similar modules with the exact dimensions, made of different materials, can also be used. This increases the endless possibility of the final outlook of the architecture. Adaptability is redefined as the versatility of construction using different materials, forming vastly different spaces.
The Facility for Bicycle Haemorrhage intends to introduce lightweight construction that can be used by anyone. The small scale of the modules allows spontaneity of construction anywhere, where a shelter or facility is needed. This redefines the bicycling community – they are now in control of where they need their utilitarian spaces to be. The technology is in the method of construction, giving the authority and control back to them, for they are the ones that understand their needs the most.
Mappings of accessibility routes around Singapore - roads, trains, etc, and the green zones that make up the city. Cyclists do not have a designated route just yet.
Inconvenient conveniences. The tracks are appropriated to be sheltered bicycle parking areas. Un-design.
The construction of the park connector network is underway. A system of construction can be employed to create shelters along the route. So there is a possibility of having a subnode in town as well.
Plans: Level 1 and Level 2
A perspective of the architecture on site.
Sectional perspective through the building.
Detailed section of the building structure and material.
Exploded view showing the structure of the building. The ramp is supported by the load-bearing walls. The walls create a monocoque structure, held together by a steel rim at the top.
Being a volumetric module, the tensegrity structure can be covered in a sunshading membrane in different ways. The PTFE skin can be stretched across different planes, giving rise to an interchangeable or customisable roof.