At the cusp of a livable cities movement, the Union Station Bicycle Transit Center is a highly visible catalyst that promotes bicycle use and alternative transportation options by providing secure parking, rental, and retail service. At the doorstep of Washington’s major transportation hub, Union Station, its sleek form reflects the technology of its contents while complementing its eminent Beaux Arts neighbors. Echoing a bicycle wheel’s elegance and efficiency, arched steel tubes covered with an energy efficient “skin” optimize transparency in this sensitive historic context.
Sited between two turn-of-the-century landmarks by Daniel Burnham, Union Station and the National Capitol Post Office, the facility is available to thousands of tourists, commuters, and neighbors passing through on a daily basis. Union Station, circa 1907, exemplifies a heroic strain of the American Beaux Arts tradition that came into fashion after the 1893 Columbian Exposition. Grand iconic vaulted ceilings recalling Roman triumphal arches and baths suggest Union Station represents an “imperial transportation palace” as conceived by its renowned architect, Daniel H. Burnham. Now the highly visible location adjacent to the west portico creates a fitting backdrop for the Bicycle Transit Center as our attitudes towards transportation have evolved and been shaped by sustainable goals.