Alexandra Zambito

Alexandra Zambito

Greenwich, CT, US


Wildcat Bike Shop and Cafe at UNH

     My first architectural studio design course was Introduction to Architecture during my fall semester in 2012. We were assigned to build a cohesive bike shop and cafe on a specific site on campus. We were also given a minimum and maximum of square footage for both the bike shop and cafe, along with having at least one sustainable design feature. I designed the bike the two shops separate in some sense from the outside, therefore each shop has their own entrance but are connected in the interior. By the bike shop and cafe facing separate directions, the cafe's entrance and outdoor dining area allow for a lovely view of the forest it faces. One of my favorite aspects of the exterior of the building are these two bike racks I designed. I wanted to incorporate the cafe aspect, therefore I made the bike racks in the form of coffee cups. 

 I chose redbrick as my exterior building material, due to the fact the surrounding academic buildings are the typical New England redbrick as well. Rather then digging out the ground due to the high elevation of the land, the building protrudes outward with a concrete base that is covered with lattice walls accompanied with green vines flowing throughout. I thought these wines and lattice walls adding a very pretty natural aspect, constrasting against the red-brick above. 

   For the entrance to the bike shop I decided to use a large garage door. In nice the building her it would be wide open and a great source of light through the shop. However, when it could not be open due to weather, there are two doors that can be opened through it when the garage door is closed. With using a garage door as a main entrance and great source of light, it becomes a great industrial design feature. Bike shops have to do with hardware and mechanics, therefore an industrial look to the entrance can pull everything together.

     As for my sustainable design feature, I incorporated multiple recycled materials adding an organic feel to the actual building. It is hard to achieve this organic feel using red brick as the exterior material, therefore the vines that run through the lattice wall on the bottom half of the building also act as a garden. There will be fruit and vegetables that will grow and used in the cafe. Creating a fresh and healthy vibe to the overall cafe. As for the interior, I decided to keep a warm feel in both the cafe and bike shop I would use wood floors throughout. These wood floors would be derived from scraps of wood that were not put to use prior, rather then using a active energy system of some sort I thought the reuse of recycled materials can be just as affective. This would create a more vintage look and a great contrast with the industrial feel of the bike entrance. 

   Ultimately the building is an open floor plan consisting of both a cafe and a bike shop. Students can drop their bikes off either for repair or tune-ups while grabbing a nice cup of coffee or light meal in a warm and inviting enviornment, before heading back to class. 

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Status: School Project