The Eye

This “Cycle-In Office” Is a Bike Commuter’s Dream

CC_Alphabeta Building_©Hufton+Crow_014

Workers who commute by bike to the Alphabeta building in London can enter at street level and ride to the basement via a dedicated ramp. The design includes underground storage for more than 200 bikes as well as adjacent changing rooms and lockers.


Photo by Hufton+Crow

Urban capitals like London are working to make biking a transport and commuting option of choice for a more sustainable future. Architects and designers are joining the effort with innovations like invisible reflective spray paint for night rides, planned twin residential towers boasting one bike parking space for every bedroom, and now London’s first “cycle-in office.”

Workers at the recently revamped and renamed Alphabeta building—originally three individual structures constructed between 1910 and 1930—can enter their workplace directly from the street via a ramp that takes them to the basement of the building, where secure storage for more than 200 bikes plus adjacent changing rooms and lockers await.

CC_Alphabeta Building_©Hufton+Crow_015

Photo by Hufton+Crow

CC_Alphabeta Building_©Hufton+Crow_016

Photo by Hufton+Crow

Project architect Dickon Hayward of Studio RHE designed the yellow-and-black bike ramp, which is visible from the ground-level atrium through a screen.

The bike ramp is the kind of forward-thinking office perk that might just encourage more people to bike to work. It’s also part of a building redesign that includes gimmicks like a clubby ground-level “kitchen” table, a paneled library, a café, and a basketball court, meant to attract a mix of media, tech, and finance companies from the surrounding are.

CC_Alphabeta Building_©Hufton+Crow_027
The ramp is visible from the building atrium on the ground floor.

Photo by Hufton+Crow

CC_Alphabeta Building_©Hufton+Crow_032

The recently revamped atrium at London’s Alphabeta Building.


Photo by Hufton+Crow

If you’re wondering how steep that ramp is, or what it might look like to negotiate the hairpin turn halfway down, you can watch a middle-aged BBC journalist testing it out in the quick video below:

Do cyclists leave the building the way they came out?

“Most people seem happy to cycle back up again as it’s not that steep,” Hayward told me in an email, “but if not it’s not far to walk and push.”