This new ‘vertical bike’ allows people to scale buildings

In our increasingly vertical and densely populated cities, space saving is vital; there’s not always room to install full-size elevator shafts in apartment blocks where space is at a premium. Enter Vycle, a concept developed by design graduate Elena Larribathat boasts the bonus of health benefits.

Spotted by Dezeen at the London Royal College of Art graduate exhibition, this new typology bridges the gap between the stairs and the lift and thus is a healthier way for people to ascend and descend buildings as it allows them to navigate vertically using their bodies.

Taking inspiration from a bicycle, the patent-pending pedal-powered, vertical transportation system is attached to a vertical rail that can be fitted to the side of almost any building and is simply powered by continuous cyclical movement. The system works through a balancing act of counterweights, leaving the user’s body as the only weight to overcome. Using a gearing system similar to how bikes work, the user can decide how much effort they want to put into reaching another level.

However, Vycle is not only about property efficiency and space saving. It also looks to improve the long-term well-being of people in communities, catering to those of varied ages and abilities while also « reintroducing the sense of flow and community that currently is exclusive on the urban ground plane, » added Larriba.

She also suggested that Vycle could be used during the construction of tall buildings due to its light weight, flexibility and low square-footage, making it suitable for retrofitting and temporary installations like in the use of scaffolding or cranes.

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