The project of the new “Velostazione" by LFL Architetti won the first prize, within the Ideas competition by invitation, held from the town of Cesano Maderno, MB in 2013. The area, assigned by the competition notice, is located in the existing parking lot in front of the railway station “Trenord” of Cesano Maderno, in the province of Monza-Brianza. This area is easily accessible and perceptible to those coming from various directions, even if not directly adjacent to the train station with which the functional relationship is established through the existing pedestrian underpass.
The project for the new “Velostazione" tries to set a visual and functional relationship with the adjacent railway station, taking the opportunity offered by the theme and by the peculiarities of the area to redevelop an urban space, giving it quality, and redeeming it from the current role of "margin" of existing parking, by setting a boundary, consisting of a long wall portion located on the edge of the parking, assigned for the competition, that allows you to clearly define the area used for transit and pedestrian, as well as access points for those coming from the north and from the existing car parking. The architecture of the building is deliberately simple, inspired by the interpretation of typical elements and applicants in the custom construction of the place. (the walls of the border, the articulation of elementary volumes, the gable roof).
At the same time the use of contemporary materials such as the colored and transparent cover cloth, the extensive use of windows, the declination of the details, the size of the volumes, allow to make the building suitable for the urban context, the sensibility of our age and the nature of public and service of the building. The new building develops from a simple functional scheme based on the clarity of the routes of delivery and collection of bicycles for the input that, through a turnstile, takes place in a totally automated with dedicated personal cards. From this point it leads to the storage of bicycles, organized according to a distributive central axis viable in a single direction, both for delivery and for the withdrawal.
There will be only one exit from the building, both for those who, given their own bicycle, would walk to the train station, both for those who, recovered the bike, would leave the building; the path is the same also for rent or bike-sharing. A series of new external routes allows to reach immediately the existing pedestrian walkways and the underpass that leads to the train station. The main body of the “Velostazione” that contains 160 bicycles arranged on prefabricated supports is constituted by a metal structure entirely prefabricated and modular which develops parallel to the wall and is anchored to the volume of the concrete accessory space. Not having to guarantee air tightness, acoustic and thermal insulation it has opted for a flexible casing able to guarantee protection against the weather and, at the same time, effectively define the architectural character of the building. Given the nature of light and transparent casing it is preferred to conceive the “Velostazione” as a sort of lantern able to illuminate both internal and external spaces where lighting is accordingly a minimum, type grazing and aimed mostly to the identification of pathways. This aspect should promote the image and the perception of the building in relation to the hours of use, imagining that the users access to the “Velostazione” mostly early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
The two heads of velostazione are solved differently, the one facing the train station consists of a façade made of tempered and printed glass sheets, applied for points to the metal structure. The opposite facade combines the use of colored cloth, with closures made of steel profiles and mesh panels, painted in corten. Except for the construction works of the foundation and paving, a good part of “Velostazione” is solved by using prefabricated technologies both regard to the structure both to the materials of casing and finishing; this choice allowed to keep the costs of the building, speed up the execution, at the same time, achieve significant and tangible economic and environmental sustainability.
The only accessory body, which has the characteristics of a "building" that houses a room for the workshop for minor repairs and a room for the distribution of the bread, warmed with heat pumps connected to the photovoltaic place in coverage (18 panels) able to provide heating and producing hot water, is released with a technology more traditional. They are in fact used exposed concrete walls, colored in paste, with the aid of oxides and isolated in the air gap, a wood slab, a thermo-acoustic insulation and the roofing with slate membrane.