white exterior of a bike shop with a bike wheel sculpture

How a Campus Bike Shop Doubles as a Work of Art

2023 Best of Year Winner for Domestic Small Higher Education

Bike-repair shops are often rough-and-tumble places, so University of California, Santa Barbara initially balked when the student union proposed putting one in front of the admissions building—the school’s literal and metaphorical front door. But the administration came around when it saw John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects‘ proposal. The 3,000-square-foot white-stucco structure not only provides a bright and airy, wood-paneled interior with an open area for individual repair stations but also includes a walk-up service window and welcoming outdoor social-gathering spaces right at the campus entrance. The pavilion’s circular-drum roof references bike wheels, as does the forecourt’s massive, spoked pergola that, like a giant parasol, shades a monumental concrete bench outfitted with tall steel-plate backrests bearing the university’s branding. The result is an eye-catching graphic sculpture that doubles as an irresistible selfie wall.

Best of Year Awards 2023

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a person with a bike outside the bike shop
exterior of bike shop
white benches outside the bike shop at University of California, Santa Barbara
white exterior of a bike shop with a bike wheel sculpture

alice kimm; john friedman; gordon au; michael royer; tyler johnson; evan chang; adelfrid ramirez.

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