London 2012 Velodrome

Via Dezeen

London firm Hopkins Architects have completed the Velodrome, the first of the five permanent venues on the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The Velodrome has been designed with the aim of creating the world’s fastest cycling track by tailoring the track geometry and setting the temperature and environmental conditions within the venue to create record-breaking conditions. The venue has also been being designed with seating all the way round the track to create the best possible crowd atmosphere during events. Renowned track designer Ron Webb oversaw the design and installation of the 2012 track having previously worked on the Sydney and Athens Velodromes.

A team of 26 specialist carpenters installed the track over a period of 8 weeks. 56km of surface timber from a sustainably-sourced Siberian pine was laid to form the track surface, fixed into place with more than 300,000 nails.

The building has been designed to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the efficient design of a bicycle. The use of abundant daylight through strategically positioned rooflights reduces need for artificial lighting, and natural ventilation is achieved through openings in the external timber cladding of the venue.

Heating and ventilation systems to meet cycling environmental requirements, allowing the highest performance by the elite cyclists, whilst maintaining high energy-efficiency. Compact design minimises energy consumed to heat the main arena. Water saving fittings and collection of rainwater for reuse in building are built into design to help reduce water consumption. Lightweight cable-net roof structure weighs 30kg/m2 compared to 65kg/m2 for the Beijing Velodrome, helping create a highly efficient building.

The Velodrome design team were chosen following a design competition in 2007. Shortlisted architects were assessed by a jury which featured leading names from the architectural world and Olympic Champion Chris Hoy. This ensured design excellence would site alongside the best possible facilities for cyclists.

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