The Holcim Awards competition recognizes the importance of engaging tomorrow’s professionals on the theme of sustainable construction through the “Next Generation” category which shares the visions and ideas of postgraduate university students. First prize was awarded to August Liau, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States for a project to increase bicycle commuting in Beijing, China. The project advocates pedal power as a dynamic alternative for urban transit and recalls its well-proven potential in the world’s former cycling capital.Read full media release – Holcim Awards 2011 for Asia Pacific »
The jury is convinced by this remarkable project due to its visionary and strategic approach. It advocates bicycling as a powerful alternative for urban transit and recalls its well proven potential in the world’s former bicycling capital. The visionary idea is shown to integrate pollution reduction and energy saving solutions into existing structures while addressing the urgency of implementing different approaches to urban transit – here and in other cities of the world. Moreover it demonstrates how residual central spaces may be occupied with beneficial and sophisticated design solutions in function, embedded systems and aesthetics that are well integrated. This “out-of-the-box” thinking sends a message to all developing metropolitan areas and provokes a process of rethinking by contemporary urban planners.
Like many rapidly-growing cities with a prospering society, Beijing faces significant problems caused by rapid growth in private automobile traffic – and a further 1,800 cars are added to the city’s streets every day. The Auto-Mobile Beijing project aims to reestablish a bicycle culture in the former “bicycle kingdom” providing the potential to be a model for other cities with similar conditions. On the theoretical level the project aspires to create a trendsetting new bicycle avant-garde by incorporating lifestyle components with a practical mode of transportation which makes bicycle use a desirable alternative.
A parallel and independent bicycle infrastructure is planned under existing flyovers, reclaiming current wasteland in interstices of inner-city highway intersections to establish structures offering tailored functions addressing the new bicycle avant-garde. The enclosed bicycle network is placed adjacent to heavily-congested traffic routes that emphasize the effectiveness of the alternative transport mode. Cladding components recycle car metal panels and front screens, and incorporate photovoltaic panels and micro turbines to generate energy from the wind suction of passing cars.Download project entry poster (PDF, 1.60 MB) »See more