This project has been archived. To make it an active project, contact your teacher or the site administrator.

SECOND PRIZE: 2012 Newhouse project #2012069 | school bike shelter

What's the problem here? Getting started on your bike shelter design.

Show Hide

Welcome Chicago Public High School students!
These are the instructions for entering a project in Division 6 for the 2012 Newhouse Architecture Competition.

Bike racks and bike rider amenities are given little attention when schools are planned, and bike riders have little infrastructure support for their choice to ride to work or school.

In order to support healthy lifestyles we are asking you to design a bike shelter that will provide safe and secure storage, protection from Chicago weather (year around), and some amenities that would be helpful for bike riders to have when they reach school.

The project will either replace your existing bike storage area OR you can find a new location that would better serve the school. You must identify and justify the new location (eg. - visibility is better, or there is more room to maneuver).

Check out the video below to get inspiration: 



Students here at Curie Metropolitan High School have become more interested into bikes in the past year from 10 speeds to fixed gear; they have become a pretty big trend. The only problem is that there is no place for them here at the school. There are barely any bike racks or any secure place to leave them. Students don’t want to bring their bikes for the fear that they might be stolen. A bike shelter can be helpful so that students actually want to bring their bikes to school. It will both help the environment and keep money in their pockets. The bike shelter will provide a safe space for students bikes a bike shop so that their bikes are always in good condition. It will become a building outside that can be used by anybody in the community. The train station in front of the school gets filled with bikes quickly; Curie High School will help out by providing more space and a safe environment for their bikes. Students will be able to work in the front desk registering bikes into the bike shelter; it will help the students, the community and the environment.


Where are your sketches? They should be under the Brainstorming tab.

Very Good start. Please remember to upload the progress of your project under the Developing solutions tab.

There should be some evidence of work under the Developing Solutions tab. Final grade for this tab will be issued on Wednesday, May 2.

All drawings for the Final Design are due on May 15. Also, I have a solution for your roof.

Just a friendly reminder, you must upload photos and text for each step of the design process to be eligible for judging in the competition. Good luck!

How do you Collect Info for this step of the design process?

Show Hide

In the Collect Info step of the design process, you try to gather as much information as possible about your school's existing bike storage facilities, along with the students and staff who will use it.  You can't propose new solutions until you figure out and document what the existing problems are.

Try This

  • Do a site visit of your bicycle parking facilities and make notes, sketches, and take photographs. Note conditions that are unsafe, unsecure, or that are less than ideal.
  • Look at other schools or public facilities to determine good / bad examples of how bikes are stored and if anything is done to accommodate riders needs when they get off their bike.
  • Interview bike users and ask them what they would like to have in a bike shelter at their school or place of work.   
  • Calculate the number of bikes that park over a week, also inquire if bikes are registered with the main office and if so how many are registered with the school.
  • Do an analysis at different times of the day and week and create an analysis with average usage and high / low points. Also determine if there are more bikes at the beginning of the week or end of the week.
  • Measure and draw the existing bike parking area and locate and note existing structures such as fencing, bike rack (notate the type and material), show the size of a bike and its clearances on the plan. Include dimensions.

My work for the Collect Information step:

When I began to collect information for my bike shelter I realized that there aren't a lot of people that ride their bicycles to school because we do not have the proper shelter for them. The school only provides two bike racks in the back of the school, that aren't protected from the weather. I then asked other bikers what they would want to see in a community bike shelter. They just wanted the bike shelter to be indoors, with bike specialist just in case their bikes needed to be maintained. I then looked for sites around my school that could work for both the students and the community; I chose the tennis courts behind our school. They aren't being used for anything; they are just taking up space. The courts are reachable by the community and the students. Afterwards I went to take measurements and pictures of my site so I can create my design as accurate as possible.And finally I started to draw sketches for a productive bike shelter.

In progress

How do you Brainstorm Ideas for this step of the design process?

Show Hide

In the Brainstorm Ideas step of the design process, you put some early ideas down on paper that show what you've found in the Collect Info step. 

Try This

  • As you are observing and making notes think about how your bike shelter is taking shape. Make side notes of where new elements may go or how you would change what is currently in place.
  • Take note of unsafe conditions or conditions that do not make sense (For example, bicycles sticking out into a sidewalk or people having difficulty parking their bikes).
  • Sit and study photographs of your site visit. If you can print and write comments of what you remember and note where you might change things and how.


My work for the Brainstorm Ideas step:

When coming up with bike shelters ideas I began by looking at examples of bad bike shelters. I began with our school, with only two bike racks that are supposed to be for nearly 4,000 students, I realized that we need room and a secure space for students to leave their bicycles there. Security also seemed to be a big issue, so I began to think of ways that the student bikes can be secure and so that they wouldn’t have to worry. I began to narrow down my ideas for the site, and also began to think of ideas of how the building would present itself.

How do you Develop Solutions for this step of the design process?

Show Hide

In the Develop Solutions step, your rough ideas come together with drawings and models that can show others your solutions for a new bike shelter.

Try This

  • Try out different ideas and save each “version”. You do not want to lose a good idea later!  Other people viewing your project - other students around the country, your teacher, and mentors - want to see how your ideas have changed over time. This means that while you're working on your digital model, you’ll want to be sure to keep re-saving it with a new file name every few days as you work through the steps.
  • Make a list of your ideas and associated sketches, or practice models. For your final upload you will want to write a short but effective paragraph of your process and what you found. This will inform the direction you will take for the final solution.
  • Show your ideas to your teacher and peers for some feedback. You can also review your progress with the test group you may have interviewed and test whether your design would meet their needs or address their concerns. Learn from the feedback you receive and incorporate into your final design solution.
  • Review your design and test it against your own observations and review that it has met the project requirements. Did it meet the expectations of the end users that you spoke to?
  • Do not leave work for the last minute! Going through a detailed design process requires time to gather information, develop ideas, and make improvements. This is difficult or impossible if you try to pull everything together a week before your project is due. Projects that are researched, developed, and well executed will always stand out!



My work for the Develop Solutions step:

When I began to develop solutions I started off with Google SketchUp. My ideas were constantly changing to perfect my design. I began with a very basic model of my structure. Later I moved on to more detailed drawings. I will continue to work on Google SketchUp moving on to Revit, for my final design when my ideas become clearer and more defined.

How do you create a Final Design for this step of the design process?

Show Hide

The final step of the design process is to create more finished drawings that illustrate your ideas to others. Remember, your explanation text, and the types of drawings, images, and models you share need to tell the whole story of your project to someone who may or may not have ever visited your school.

Be sure that you understand and meet all schedule deadlines and project data submission requirements.  

The Newhouse Competition judges will be evaluating your design project on:

  • The creativity of the final solution.
  • If you have included all studies, observations, data, and calculations utilized for determining capacities, design considerations, and scale of final project.
  • How well you showed the design process through sketches, notes, pictures, etc.
  • How well your projects incorporates the following components:

    Secure bike storage using common bike parking structures (bike racks), or some type of creative structure that is an “improvement” to what is currently installed and utilized at the school.

    Shelter from the weather – it can be enclosed or partially enclosed.

    Basic amenities: clean up or private shower facilities, personal lockers, small food kiosk or beverage bar, considerations for self performing bike maintenance, bike storage, information board(s).

    Consideration for use at all hours and seasons.


My work for the Final Design step:

My final design consisted of creating a bike shelter that was both efficient and practical. Cyclist would feel welcomed as soon as they walk in, greeted by a receptionist. Cyclist wouldn't feel like their bicycles would be tampered with knowing that only employees are allowed to access them. A seating area was provided for bikers that are waiting for their bikes to get repaired, there is also a locker room to store their belongings before leaving the bike shelter. All in all it was just made to be convenient for the cyclist that will be using it.