The Breakaway / We Are You

Swedish architects We Are You received third prize for an international competition for the new Bicycling Center in .

More images and architect’s description after the break.

The Breakaway is a new bike center in the city of Philadelphia. It’s mission is to promote bicycling in all its forms, and become a social hotspot for bike commutors, messengers, biking tourists and racers. The façade, that is a vertical bike parking, tells the story of the building. The bikes are properly displayed to mark the site in the city and encurage more people to use the iron horse as a means of daily transportation.

The entrance floor holds a public bicycle repair space where you can fix your bike, hang out with your friends and take a bike-building course. There is also a store where you can rent bikes, buy a new commuter friend or just top up the old buddy with some shiny parts. Here you will also find “Le Ravitaillement”, a cafe/urban feedstation where you can pick up sandwitches, water bottles and croissants on your way to work. The other floors holds showers/changing facilities for bike commutors and an office for the local bike advocacy group.

Cite: Jordana, Sebastian. "The Breakaway / We Are You" 11 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • zed

    nice idea for philadelphia.
    who were the winners?

  • niel

    Don’t get me wrong, this is very cool, and as a biker in Philly I’d love to see this happen. But this is Philadelphia we’re talking about…the city where putting in a simple bike lane engenders a month-long debate. I love my adopted hometown, but it’s not a particularly progressive city. This project strikes me as pie-in-the-sky. Hopefully I’ll be proven wrong.

  • niel

    Sorry, meant “months-long.”

  • flap

    pie in the sky is right niel – the submisson was for an architecture competition organized by the DVGBC, not a real project. philly could use some bike resources in addition to new lanes.

  • Travis

    I like this kind of thing. People in positions of decision-making can be surprisingly unimaginative, as can be the public (whom the decision-makers are answerable to). Imagine unsolicited architectural projects/competitions set up and displayed in the city they’re designed for! So it’s pie in the sky, but it certainly engages the possibility and can even get the ball rolling. Brainstorming on the city! Go The Breakaway!