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  • Writer's pictureMadame Velo

Tour the completed Prologue Works cycle hub to understand what the key ingredients are for success

25 Marsh Street boasts a prime location and was naturally predisposed it to be repurposed as Prologue Works - a striking, cycle-centric office taking a pioneering approach to modern, sustainable workplace design and employee wellness, which capitalised on the phenomenal growth in cycling commuters Bristol had cultivated.

The brief in part was to be Bristol’s premier cycle friendly workplace. A major part of the design for the project was to influence a substantial change to the entire building design that would encourage in excess of 30% of staff to cycle to work at the building. Providing a next generation secure cycle parking facility with added benefits was the primary driver for the design thinking and styling.

The building’s small car park area was reconfigured entirely to prioritise cyclists over motor vehicles and the site was further enclosed by high level steel security panels, new automated entrance gates and cctv to further deter anti-social behaviour. Leading from the external car park which includes two electric car charging points, beneath the building to the basement car park, the space has been developed to incorporate a large secure cycle hub room.

The project incorporates innovation with next generation Advanced Compact Cycle Parking (ACCP) units which offered the highest density cycle parking numbers and so optimised the available space. To ensure that there were no barriers to changing a commute habit, easy to use single level units rather than two tier type parking units enabled the space in the hub to remain welcoming and very easy to access for all abilities of cyclist and the widest variety of bicycle types.

High density cycle parking is achieved with staggered front or back wheel parking that provides bicycle caring parking with patented softdock® technology that eliminates metal to metal contact and supports each bicycle firmly without the risk of another bike clashing or being locked together. There is a retracting locking arm on each unit which enables the cyclists to use their own security strop to doubly lock up their bike. The spacing in this hub allows sufficient room to access both the locking points and the kit locker even when the system is at capacity.

ACCP-lockers provide ample storage for helmet, shoes, jacket etc. and are stacked directly on top of the ACCP-corporate units to maximise floor space. At Prologue Works the lockers are upgraded to fully ventilated air drying lockers. These provide superior drying facilities by utilising the combination of the, a room de humidifying system and fans that draw warm air through each individual locker and the BMS to monitor & maintain the temperature in the cycle hub drying out wet commuter gear is a huge benefit to cycle commuters in winter and on mawky Bristol days.

The next generation cycle parking units were sourced and installed from specialists, H-B Designs Ltd who worked with the design team and client to ensure that the cycle hub would be a great success. The colour theme for the whole of the project was carried throughout the cycle hub fixtures and onto the team cycling apparel which was provided to would be competitive cyclists based from the building. Supporting the client, Kennedy Wilson Europe, DC provided specialist consultation for the development of the building's cycling team, working with staff from numerous companies from within the building and managed the cycle team’s involvement and promotion of the new cycling culture at local cycle events including the Bristol GP.

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