The goal of the Bikeway Belém project was not only to define and provide wayfinding guidance for the new 7,362-meter bike route along the river Tagus in the center of Lisbon, but to energize the diverse urban spaces that it traverses.
P-06 Atelier and Global Landscape Architecture worked together to develop a system that goes beyond just clarifying the route for users. First, bold white wayfinding words and symbols are painted directly onto the new bikeway pavement to articulate bike lanes, measure distances, and provide direction to cyclists. Graphic “incisions” consisting of metal circles and polygons were made in existing pavements, then filled with asphalt to preserve the surface and provide an everlasting system of signs.
The project also included graphic and narrative interventions that help draw cyclists farther and farther along the stretch. Under a bridge support, the design team created an onomatopoeic interpretation that imitates the sounds of the bridge. Along a pier, the words of Portuguese poet Alberto Caeiro’s verse about the river Tagus are writ large in bold white letters. The total effect is of a story unfolding along the bikeway. The budget was 600,000 euros for the fabrication and installation.
“Every community that has a bike/walking/running path needs a system like this. Bold, clear, fun, and engaging.”
“The bold graphics and expressive typographic textures give this bikeway a fantastic personality that's fun, functional, and engaging.”
Nuno Gusmão, João Gomes da Silva (creative directors); Estela Pinto, Pedro Anjos (project managers); Giuseppe Greco, Miguel Matos (designers)
CME (master contractor), Electroestúdio (graphics)