A new urban furniture solution could store bicycles and shade benches with clean design. California startup Bike Arc could raise awareness about eco friendly practices with a number of attractive styles-- as well as protect bikes in areas with harmful weather.
Designed by Jeff Selzer and Joseph Bellomo, the original concept (the Tube Arc) achieved its goal of fitting 20 bicycles in a parking space-sized area. The company's work all seems reminiscent of a futurist elephant graveyard -- with steel ribs jutting forth from sidewalks.
Arc shapes appear to have inspired all designs. The Umbrella Arc holds 8 bikes in a blossom shaped unit, looking more like metal trees lining a sidewalk than a storage rack.
Bike Arc is also working on an affordable housing solution with the same simple curve. The first House Arc prototypes will be in Hawaii and are expected to be completed this year.
Manhattan once had at least one set of payphones per city block— with those mostly gone thanks to cellular options, maybe that new found real estate could be taken advantage of by these slim units.
Another Bike Arc modular bike park system is the Bus Arc, which stores bikes and also will protect bus riders as they wait. The systems locks the rear wheel, leaving it up to the user to lock the front wheel to the frame— the design, however, allows for multiple points to secure wheel and frame alike.
According to the public relations firm that represents Bike Arc, the company is constantly developing new Bike Arc concepts, "including the use of more affordable materials and photovoltaic technology."
When I bought my last bicycle, I spent a good taping and scuffing it up to dissuade would-be thieves. If architecture like the Bike Arc series makes it into public spaces, I might not have to work so hard with the next bike -- though I doubt I'll be leaving my seat on.