Norway’s “best cycling city” has added a new feature to make two-wheeled transport even easier for local residents and visitors. The new Bicycle Hotel (or the native “sykkel hotell”) adjacent to the main square of the train station in Lillestrøm (near Oslo) will give bikes a cozy space to bunk up while riders are off in the city. The project, commissioned by Norwegian National Railways as a public space, offers just over 5,000 square feet of bike storage space that is protected from the elements. The aim is to make cycling even easier for people commuting around the city, and bicycle hotels such as this one are popping up near railway stations throughout the bike-friendly nation.
Built this year and officially open for business just last month, the Lillestrøm Bicycle Hotel opened in the city that has been frequently voted Norway’s best cycling city. The project was designed by Various Architects AS in collaboration with the client ROM Eiendom AS and the Norwegian National Railways. In addition to a safe and nominally priced place for bike storage, the Bicycle Hotel offers a public green rooftop with a sloping ramp, stairs, and benches plus a stunning view of the city beyond. That rooftop connects directly to the train station’s main square, as well.
The building’s design is deceptively simple. The Bicycle Hotel was envisioned as a glass box topped with a “freeform wooden roof” balanced atop its walls. The actual construction reflects that entirely, with transparent glass walls that allow natural light to fill the interior of the space throughout the day. The glass walls feature thin gaps between panels, allowing for natural ventilation without complicated venting systems. “Together the glass box and the roof create an intimate yet open and accessible public space,” said the architects in a statement.
On the roof, green sedum absorbs rainwater and provides insulation from external temperatures, helping to regulate the climate within the structure in extreme heat and cold. Because the glass walls draw in daylight and the structure is ventilated naturally, its energy consumption is quite low, requiring only a small amount of power to illuminate lights at night. Then, the Bicycle Hotel glows from within like a treasure chest of pedal power.