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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Pasadena Bike Transit Center in Los Angeles, California by Peter Tolkin Architecture

April 12th, 2012 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Peter Tolkin Architecture

Amidst the ever increasing density of the Los Angeles region, the Pasadena Bike Transit Center signals the emerging viability of alternative modes of transportation. Commissioned by the City of Pasadena through a grant by Caltrans, the Pasadena Bike Transit Center will be a prototype for future locations along the MTA Gold Line. Serving the needs of bicycle commuters, the project lies in an alleyway directly across from the Memorial Station platform in Old Town Pasadena and is intended to complement the growing network of commuter trains and bicycle routes throughout the Los Angeles region.


  • Architects: Peter Tolkin Architecture
  • Project: Pasadena Bike Transit Center
  • Location: Los Angeles, California
  • Approximately: 1,425 sq. ft. (pictured configuration)
  • Client: City of Pasadena
  • Architect Team: Peter Tolkin, Design Principal; Maria Iwanicki, Project Architect; Nuri Miller, Christopher Girt, Jeremy Schacht, Ted Rubenstein
  • Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steficek, Inc.
  • Awards: AIA Honor Award, Los Angeles Business Council Award for Design Excellence

Inside cropped

Envisioned as an iconic structure, the bikes are showcased within the construction. The design integrates bike racks and enclosure through a series of interwoven ribbons of steel. These bent steel pipes gently weave across the structure’s span, forming intimately-scaled ergonomic proportions for this bike-human house. The system of pipes—reminiscent of the bent steel tubing of bike frames—creates a fluid and organic pattern, denser for security below and gradually becoming looser above. Clad in clear and colored polycarbonate panels across the sloped roof, the building shields users from inclement weather while allowing ventilation and visibility.

Outside cropped

The enclosure consists of 13 bays or modules of 5’ length, each capable of housing 4 bikes, for a total of 52 bikes. Additional bays accommodate the secure sliding door entry and an area for commercial use, either as a bike repair shop or vendor. The lighting, powered by photovoltaic panels, seamlessly integrated with the form, furthers the actual and symbolic qualities of the structure, and reinforces security.

West Elevation

As a large piece of urban street furniture, the design is meant to be easily adapted to other locations. The 5’ foot module allows for the structure to be shop fabricated and trucked to the site for installation. The modular design exhibits the enclosure’s flexibility to increase or decrease according to the needs of its site. Given its light weight and the manner in which the loads are distributed along its length, the structure can be bolted into place on a slab without a footing. Computer controlled bending machines used for the frame’s fabrication determined pipe size and bending radii parameters. By using this technology this relatively intricate structure can be built within the constraints of a tight budget.

Exploded Axon

As an interpretation of its contextual, functional and symbolic aspects, the Bike Transit Center is intended to promote the use of alternative means of transit. The evocation of craft through the application of technology contributes to its figurative and representational nature, an effective beacon to bolster bicycle transit. As the Paris Metro stations are evocative of progress and civic identity, the Bike Transit Center might similarly develop a familiarity to the residents of our region, conceivably multiplying along the Metro Rail’s expanding network.



Roof Plan

Bike lady Diagrams

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Category: Transport & Infrastructure

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