Bike pathways, also known as veloroutes, are becoming an increasingly important element of modern transportation within cities nowadays, prompting designers to reimagine their future use and potential. With this in mind, and heavily influenced by the concept of sustainability, architect Peter Kuczia has introduced ‘solar veloroute’, a multifunctional photovoltaic pathway for bikers and pedestrians. The project has been created for districts in Switzerland and Dubai, but can be adapted to any location and climatic zone.
Solar Veloroute by Peter Kuczia features illuminated canopy + charging stations images by Alek Pluta. In Peter Kuczia’s ‘solar veloroute’, the photovoltaic system uses solar power to generate electricity, which can be used for on-site charging stations and lighting, while the surplus energy collected can be distributed for additional services. The project is designed as an eye-catching structure that attracts the attention of passers-by, encouraging them to learn more about sustainability. To further ensure that ‘solar veloroute’ serves as an informal educational experience for the public, the architect has installed display panels and posters with information about the benefits of using solar power on a global scale.
“Just one kilometer of [solar veloroute] could provide around 2,000 MWh of electricity and could power 750 households or provide electricity for more than 1,000 electric cars driving 11,000 km per year,” Kuczia shares.
Conceived as a modular system, the project takes shape as a semi-enclosed, rounded archway constructed from non-reflective glass solar panels, which are attached to round tube steel purlins. The canopy protects cyclists and pedestrians from the sun, as well as other unfortunate weather conditions. Within ‘solar veloroute’, commuters can find charging stations for bicycles or smartphones, while at night, they are able to enjoy an illuminated protected pathway.
The project’s construction has been parametrically developed and can be adapted to any common bike road, following any curve of the route. The structure is completely adjustable, and the number of rows of panels, the distance between modules, as well as their inclination can be flexibly altered to respond to local conditions.