During my first trip to Chicago, I went out for a ride in Millennium Park and stopped to marvel at a bicycle rental center. It is a glass and steel structure and brought the eye to the bike. As an entry to the park, and a focal point, it made clear that this part of the city was for pedestrians and bicycles. Architecture should make a statement and indicate what the building’s purpose is. The new Union Station Bicycle Transit Center is based on a cross-section of a wheel with tension and compression forces holding it together.
The facility which is located outside of Washington’s Union Station is designed to be a highly visible catalyst in the promotion of bicycle use. The enclosure is strategically placed between two turn-of-the-century landmarks – Union Station and the Post Office – to meet the needs of thousands of tourists and commuters who pass through the transportation hub on a daily basis.