Bermondsey Bicycle Store

Bermondsey Bicycle Store forms a striking entrance to Bermondsey Square – a lively public space at the heart of an ambitious regeneration project in south-east London.

Embedding green transport values within the local community, the store accommodates 76 bikes belonging to the square’s workers and residents. Using ordinary materials in an original and exciting manner, the intervention adds sparkle to Igloo’s vision for inner city living.

Client: Igloo Regeneration
Construction Value: £120,000
Completion: 2008
Location: London

2009 AJ/Ramboll Whitbybird Award: Best Small Project (shortlisted)
Velo City


The square is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and host to the historic Bermondsey Antiques Market. Beneath it lies the 11th century ruins of Bermondsey Abbey.

Drawing on the narrative of silver trinkets and treasures past, the landscaping is conceived as a textured carpet adorned with jewel-like street objects.

Located at the southern entrance and visible from afar, the bicycle store is the ornamental highlight among the peppering of new bollards, benches and stands.

“You know there is something special about a new residential development when it includes a bespoke bike shed designed by top eco-architect Sarah Wigglesworth”

London Evening Standard

The building’s outer skin is a playful array of triangular steel panels that refer to the square’s gem-like bollards. The surface fragments towards the roof revealing an underlying structure of laminated timber portal frames. A translucent inner skin provides a protected enclosure filled with diffused natural light. Sensor-integrated lighting maintains security and adds drama and prominence at night.


Framed by a backdrop of housing and offices, the bike store is an intentional contrast to the surrounding buildings. Its architecture instead responds to the transient qualities of the site – the changing light and colour of the sky and the passing flow of people and traffic. The building is experienced at a number of scales. Seen from afar it offers a mysterious and distant glimmer. Up close its honesty of materials and responsiveness to light engages passersby in a dramatic and sensory experience.

By giving a bold and memorable identity to an otherwise humble function, the scheme has served as a catalyst for the promotion of green transport in the community.

Building on this theme we created the Bermondsey Square Bicycle Christmas Tree. The structure combines borrowed wheels from the charity Re-Cycle and reflector “fairy lights” donated from local bike shops. Designed as a demountable structure, the tree continues to be reassembled as a festive contributor to the ongoing campaign for cycling in the city.


Photos by Mark Hadden