Phoenix Bikes follows a mission to educate youth, promote bicycling, and build community, and has supported local youth in the DC Metro area since 2007. Located in Arlington, this private, non-profit program has grown rapidly. Local youth participate in bicycle refurbishment and retail sales and repurpose hundreds of bicycles annually for sale.
LAB has worked with Phoenix Bikes over the past several years to design a permanent home for their operations and has produced building designs for four separate sites in Arlington. The first building we designed for Phoenix Bikes was based on an assemblage of prefab components, with an aluminum tube structural frame that could support multiple types of infill wall panels and windows. The building was designed as a modular system to allow relocation as needed and intended to express a sense of component experimentation similar to a bicycle.
In 2012 Phoenix Bikes was offered a more permanent location on the Columbia Pike commercial corridor in Arlington, adjacent to the regional Four Mile Run bike path. LAB formulated a new design following the Columbia Pike Form Based Code, utilizing a simple warehouse design language, but opening up on the interior in a spatially dynamic arrangement to facilitate student learning and communication. In 2016, Phoenix Bikes applied to Arlington County to occupy an empty ground floor retail space at the Arlington Mill Community Center, in order to upgrade their working environment more rapidly. LAB designed a simple interior fit-out, with a freestanding, simply-built storage wall separating the interior volume into two distinct work zones, and clarifying youth spaces from back-of-house support areas.