29 June 2010

Rebooting windows: Grimshaw's bike vision

The plastic came off a new window display at the Clerkenwell Road offices of Grimshaw Architects the other day.

The company is known for its transport projects. Their new shop window reflects that, with an interesting choice of bicycles among the sticky-backed-plastic exemplars of urban transit.

In among the silhouettes of taxis and buggy-pushers are a couple of road bikes, and the inevitable Brompton...

...but what's with this double-height bike?

Grimshaw hosts a London Festival of Architecture event here on 1 July about the future of urban transport, with presentations on the forthcoming Cycle Hire scheme among other bike-related subjects.

So do Grimshaw know something we don't? Is the double-decker bike the face of future commuting? Is being nine foot tall the only way you can see the fragmented course of a Cycle Superhighway ahead of you?

Until 4 July, the Festival also includes lots of bike rides round some of the city's most remarkable buildings. They're fun.

On the rides you'll see a spectrum of people. At one end, confident, metropolitan, helmet-wearing, lycra'n'racing-jersey-clad young professionals in Sky-branded LFA bibs on whizzy road bikes.

At the other, a bare-headed lot in everyday clothes with crow's feet and tans, on getting-about bikes with panniers full of lunch.

Guess which end is the architects, and which end is the Southwark Cyclists helping out with the marshalling.


  1. Do you need special pedals if you have crows feet?

  2. Oh, very good... maybe you need special trousers too, with crow flies.

  3. I manage to be confident without the support of an enchanted titfur.

  4. I saw one of these double-height bikes being used in Bristol yesterday. The rider clearly enjoys incredible visibility which I imagine is the point.

  5. I saw a couple of prototypes last week as well - www.cyclestreets.net/location/23818 and 23819