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New Norman Foster building takes cycle facilities to a skyscraping level

A flagship new apartment block in London is to feature record amounts of cycle parking - amounting to one cycle space per bedroom - thanks to its bike-loving architect Norman Foster.

250 City Road, a new skyscraper in Islington, London, has been designed by Foster + Partners - the firm behind SkyCycle, a 136-mile high level cycle route imagined around London’s rail network.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson this month poured cold water on SkyCycle, describing the idea as “fantastically expensive” and outlining other measures he believes should take priority in improving the safety of cyclists, as we reported.

But more of a success story is Foster + Partners’ twin-towered “high-density, low-energy residential development” of around 900 luxury apartments, costing £840,000 for a one-bedroom flat, will feature 1,500 cycle parking spaces - around enough for one per bedroom - but only 200 car parking spots.

The 1,486 bike parking spaces make this development one of the most “most cycle-friendly high-rise in London” - and there will also be other features including dedicated bike elevators and on-site bike repair facilities.

Project architect Giles Robinson told Dezeen: “The project has a dedicated cycle lift from ground to basement level, where the cycle storage areas are located. At the basement level there is a dedicated cycle maintenance workshop that enables cycles to be cleaned and maintained."

The plans fall in line with new Transport for London (TfL) development guidelines that lay out a minimum number of bike parking spaces for new buildings.

But Foster + Partners has exceeded the expected 1,233 spaces in its plans.
 
Peter Murray, a member of the London Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, said: "It's a figure that spectacularly reflects changing attitudes to cycling in London. It represents a big shift in London. All new developments have to meet the [cycle provision] requirements, but since this is a tall and dense project, the impact and scale is impressive."

What remains to be seen, however, is how full all those bike parking spots are once 250 City Road’s well-heeled residents move in.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

23 comments

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darrenleroy [216 posts] 1 year ago
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Where are they going to park their luxury cars though?

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marcswales [33 posts] 1 year ago
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Only 1 bike per bedroom?  2

Doesn't meet N+1 standards.

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Leviathan [2274 posts] 1 year ago
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marcswales wrote:

Only 1 bike per bedroom?  2

Doesn't meet N+1 standards.

That's okay we will pair you with an obese business man so there is more space. Lord Foster of Levenshulme comes to the rescue again with more jumbo marker brilliance!

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ct [191 posts] 1 year ago
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"costing £840,000 for a one-bedroom flat"

London truly is a bit mad

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jacknorell [974 posts] 1 year ago
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The flat prices do make me wonder how they're managing to build so expensively... maybe they're randomly chucking stacks of money into the cement or something.

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atgni [365 posts] 1 year ago
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£600k / flat direct to Foster + Partners?

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Northernbike [229 posts] 1 year ago
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I hope the bike elevator has some kind of Strava jammer else they'll be a lot of Londoners posting infeasible amounts of climbing on their commute across town

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jacknorell [974 posts] 1 year ago
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atgni wrote:

£600k / flat direct to Foster + Partners?

Must be it  3

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Metjas [362 posts] 1 year ago
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let's hope the new bikey residents don't all start working at the same time in the morning  1

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matthewn5 [842 posts] 1 year ago
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40 storeys on the edge of Shoreditch. It's a damn shame, frankly. Half a block away there's ordinary 3 storey terraces. Complete planning madness.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 1 year ago
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Cynical bit of greenwashing to get an over scaled and socially divisive building through planning.

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bikebot [2149 posts] 1 year ago
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atgni wrote:

£600k / flat direct to Foster + Partners?

That would be the Berkeley Group. Foster is the architect not the developer.

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bikebot [2149 posts] 1 year ago
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Some Fella wrote:

Cynical bit of greenwashing to get an over scaled and socially divisive building through planning.

There's a lot more cynicism in your post than anything Norman Foster has ever said about cycling.

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jmaccelari [250 posts] 1 year ago
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Not their first cycling friendly building. One of their current developments - Bloomberg Place in EC4 - has 5 disabled parking bays, 7 'normal' bays and space for close on 450 bicycles.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 1 year ago
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Great, but kind of a shame that providing a half decent amount of cycle parking is news.

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LarryDavidJr [318 posts] 1 year ago
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Quote:

costing £840,000 for a one-bedroom flat,

Well you'll need the space then, for all those Pinarellos and Colnagos that come out three times in the summer.

Cycling, the transport of the people.

But just the very rich people.

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Kim [239 posts] 1 year ago
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Too many car spaces...  3

Shame Foster wasn't as bicycle friendly with the Quartermile development in Edinburgh.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 1 year ago
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bikebot wrote:
Some Fella wrote:

Cynical bit of greenwashing to get an over scaled and socially divisive building through planning.

There's a lot more cynicism in your post than anything Norman Foster has ever said about cycling.

Do you honestly think Foster himself actually went anywhere near this?

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atgni [365 posts] 1 year ago
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bikebot wrote:
atgni wrote:

£600k / flat direct to Foster + Partners?

That would be the Berkeley Group. Foster is the architect not the developer.

You don't get the name Foster + on any design for free though do you.

PS I know they are architects and I suspect the land wasn't free either.

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johnnytoobad [8 posts] 1 year ago
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The 1,486 bike parking spaces

But Foster + Partners has exceeded the expected 1,233 spaces in its plans.

So essentially this story is "large, extremely expensive skyscraper has 20% more bike spaces than legally required"?

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jacknorell [974 posts] 1 year ago
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drmatthewhardy wrote:

40 storeys on the edge of Shoreditch. It's a damn shame, frankly. Half a block away there's ordinary 3 storey terraces. Complete planning madness.

Eh, it's a city, not a small town. We need higher density being built, or haven't you noticed that London property went up 20% last year?

OK, clearly this specific building isn't helping average prices... but in principle building bigger makes sense.

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bikebot [2149 posts] 1 year ago
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atgni wrote:
bikebot wrote:
atgni wrote:

£600k / flat direct to Foster + Partners?

That would be the Berkeley Group. Foster is the architect not the developer.

You don't get the name Foster + on any design for free though do you.

PS I know they are architects and I suspect the land wasn't free either.

They charge a fixed fee, they're not on commission or profit share. The high prices simply mean that the developer can afford the services of Foster's company.

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redhanded [24 posts] 1 year ago
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I was at a talk with the architect Richard Rogers last year and he said the Cheesegrater building they designed only had 15 car parking spaces while a building they did in Mexico City with a similar floor area had to have about 2,000 spaces for cars.

Developers are in it for the money and in London, square footage used for retail, office or residential use is far more valuable than if it is used for car parking so if the developer doesn't have to provide lots of car parking, then they won't and will use the space for something more valuable.

Near where I live in London, there has been rumours that a developer wants to knock down a large car park and change it into residential property. With London prices, it is worth far more as flats than a car park but the downside is the flats end up being sold for obscene prices.

I suppose it is a positive that with reasonable public transport in London, developers don't want to waste valuable space on car parking if they can use it for more lucrative purposes and this will tend to reduce car dependency.