Shadow Play in London

Shadow Play in London

The public face of the Bermondsey Square Bike Store, in London, is a facade of stainless steel triangles. It has been written up and photographed a bit, and comments have been made about its contribution to the neighborhood’s appearance.

The eerie beauty of the interior has been less discussed.

Designed by Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, the structure is part of the redevelopment of the historic site of the Bermondsey Antiques Market. The bike store (in this usage “store” is not a place to buy bicycles, it is storage, a bike parking garage) is a modest structure built on 13 douglas fir portal frames. The steel facade panels, whose design is “based on the geometry of several unravelled gem-like bollards” (according to the architects) reflect light in varying shades at different times of day, and contribute some real visual interest to the square.

Inside, seen only by those who park their bikes, the walls are lined with a double-decker rack system designed by Josta. The walls and ceiling are clad with translucent composite panels that provide diffused natural lighting, but also present a shadow-play with the framing as proscenium. Through the panels shine the gaps in the  cladding, and the shifting light of the passing world flits by in small, triangular glimpses.

Images © Mark Hadden Photography, via