Our firm has a distinctive name. But what exactly is a velocipede?

According to Wikipedia,

The velocipede was the predecessor to the bicycle, a human powered vehicle introduced in the Victorian Age. . . . Invented in 1863 in France by Pierre Lallement, the two-wheeled velocipede was sometimes called the boneshaker. The Michaux Company was the first to mass-produce the velocipede, from 1867 to 1870.

Other people deserving some credit for inventing the bicycle include:

  • 1818, Baron Karl von Drais (German): wood frame, two wood wheels with steering, iron bands for tires, riders would sit astride the frame and push with their feet on the ground
  • 1839, Kirkpatrick MacMillan (Scottish): added cranks pushed by hand to drive the rear wheel
  • 1863, Pierre Lallement (French): changed frame to steel and put pedals on front wheel
  • 1885, John Kemp Starley (English): added chain drive to rear wheel
  • 1888, John Boyd Dunlop (Scottish): changed tires to pneumatic

So, what does a "velocipede" have to do with a sustainable architecture firm?

Our principal earned his first paycheck in a bicycle shop, has been a bicycle commuter for over three decades, and pedaled across the USA from Virginia to Oregon back in 1984.

Bicycles embody the principles of sustainability, that buildings would do well to emulate:

  • Efficient use of materials
  • Durable
  • Recyclable (the metal portions)
  • Designed for disassembly
  • Zero pollution
  • 100% renewable energy (human muscles fueled by food)
  • Carbon neutral (their fuel is grown in the year it is consumed)

Fine bicycles are exquisite works of craftsmanship and modern design.