Swedish apartments put the wheels in motion for a cycle-friendly lifestyle

9 pictures

Cykelhuset Ohboy will comprise 55 apartments, ranging in size from 1-4 bedrooms, and a "bike hotel" on street-level with 31 mezzanine apartments(Credit: Hauschild+Siegel)

View gallery - 9 images

As cities seek to become greener and healthier places to live, cycling is increasingly being catered for. In Malmö, Sweden, this now extends beyond infrastructure like bike lanes and cycle paths, with a specially designed apartment block and hotel being built for people who wish to lead a car-free lifestyle.

Designed by architects Hauschild+Siegel, Cykelhuset Ohboy will comprise 55 apartments, ranging in size from one to four bedrooms, and a "bike hotel" on street-level with 31 mezzanine apartments, all spread across seven floors. Like Foster + Partners' 250 City Road in London, UK, it will feature space for bike storage, large elevators to accommodate bikes and a bike workshop, as well as focusing on greenery and sustainability.

Indeed, Cykelhuset Ohboy won't just be a conventional building with cycle-friendly features tacked on. It has been designed from the ground up with bike-use in mind. Bike parking spaces will replace car parking spaces, surfaces are designed to be durable and easily cleaned and passageways and doorways have been widened so that even the largest cargo bikes will fit through. Not only does this mean that residents will be able to move their bikes around the building with ease, but deliveries by bike could be made right up to, and actually into, apartments.

By the same token, residents can choose to store their bikes in the hallway of their apartments, or outside their apartments where the entrance balconies have been made big enough to do so, rather than in the communal street-level bike garage. There will also be facilities for charging electric bikes and a service station with air pumps, bike washes and tools.

Residents will be entitled to an annual bike service and will have access to a bicycle share scheme, through which bikes for guests, special cargo bikes for transporting anywhere from two people to six children and foldable commuter bikes will be available. They will also have membership to a car-share scheme for occasions, like long trips, when a car may be necessary.

The bike hotel will be for stays from a week long up to a few months. Its units will cover 22 sq m (237 sq ft) and each will have a small kitchen, a bathroom with a shower and places to sleep for one to three people. Guests will be able to park their bikes outside their apartment doors, or take them inside and hang them on the wall. It will be possible for guests to pick up bikes at Malmö Central station when they arrive in the city and to rent special types of bicycle during their stay. There will also be a bike cleaning and maintenance service available.

In the interests of sustainability, local wood is to be used for the construction of the stairs and mezzanine in the hotel, as well as in the landscape design outside the building. The apartments, meanwhile, will all have automatically irrigated garden boxes on their balconies so that residents can grow their own produce, and greens will be grown all year round in a communal garden on the building's roof.

Construction of Cykelhuset Ohboy began last year. The first apartment tenants are expected to move in at the end of this year or at the beginning of 2017. The first hotel guests are due to ride up to the lobby from early next year.

View gallery - 9 images

Top stories

Recommended for you

Latest in Architecture

Editors Choice