Design a bikeshed for London's Bankside

International competition calls for innovative approach to humblest of structures

by Mark Appleton   January 7, 2011  

Bankside Bikeshed competition.jpg

What makes a good bike shed? A roof, a back, two sides and something solid, preferably nailed down, to fix your bike to, perhaps?

Maybe, but that’s probably not going to be enough to win an international design competition launched by the Architecture Foundation (AF) for a portable bike shed at Bankside in South London.

The competition is being held on behalf of the Better Bankside, the UK’s third Business Improvement District (BID). A BID is an independent, business-owned and led company, which seeks to improve a given location for commercial activity.

The competition brief calls for a modular, portable and secure cycle-parking solution which will benefit the relatively high proportion of visitors to the district who arrive on two wheels.

Up to 17 per cent of regular trips to the area made by bicycle and the competition is part of a strategy that aims to boost local businesses’ eco-performance and promote further cycling in the area.

The competition is open to the creatively-minded from a range of disciplines including architects, designers, artists, product designers and others, all of whom are being encouraged to come up with ‘flexible and innovative yet realisable’ proposals.

The timescale is tight however with a submission deadline of February 16 and with Better Bankside seeking to build a prototype of the winning entry before setting up a bike shed at its western end by March.

If you’ve got some ideas about what might impress an esteemed panel of judges featuring Deborah Saunt of DSDHA; Ashok Sinha, chief executive of the London Cycling Campaign; Sarah Ichioka, director of the Architecture Foundation and Jonathan Bell, architecture editor at Wallpaper* magazine then click here for details of how to enter the competition.