Serk Space Beijing

SERK – a new hybrid space – bar / cafe / bike shop south of Lama Temple in Beijing opened June first. Since speaking to Shannon Bufton and Liman Zhao (founders of SERK) about their latest project for the first time, I am curious to see SERK space evolving as a place for new cycling cultures in Beijing (and the World). The hybrid space between bar/cafe and bike shop was inserted into Beijing's inner Hutong districts as a space for catalytic exchange between traditional and modern cycling cultures in Beijing. It provides manifold potentials for enriching Beijing's cycling cultures and is a great leap forward to making cycling sexy (again) in Beijing. For the work of Smarter Than Car this new space will allow for new kind of advocacy work as SERK space enhances bicycle cultural diversity in Beijing (bicycle mainstreaming) and creates a physical space communicating a cycling lifestyle to the urban context of Beijing (bicycle urbanism).  

The founders of SERK – Beijinger Liman Zhao and Australian Shannon Bufton – have been working hard over the past 2 years to promote cycling culture in Beijing. They co-founded Smarter Than Car, Beijing Bike Week and have undertaken research on Beijing’s bicycle cultures which has been presented around the world. The SERK space represents a focal point for their activities and a meeting place for those interested in bicycles and in reinvigorating the two-wheeled culture of the former bicycle kingdom, Beijing. The space was set up as melting pot of ideas for bicycle cultural exchange between East and West. The SERK space is an architectural insertion into a traditional Hutong still flourishing with two-wheeled culture. It’s open at the front and invites the passerby to engage with the concept and think about the bicycle in a new light. Thereby the SERK space becomes much more than a traditional bicycle shop, bar or cafe. It is a place of exchange, wonder, learning and promotion of a newly invigorating bicycle culture in Beijing.

And here some images taken during the opening night. The space is looking very vibrant on the inside and it appears that the people in the street are really attracted by this stylish new bicycle culture radiating outwards from the SERK space.

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