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London 2012 Olympic Velodrome

London, United Kingdom
1 of 5Hopkins Architects

One of the four permanent venues on the Olympic Park, the Velodrome is a landmark venue for the indoor track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cycling inspired the concept for the Velodrome. The bicycle is an ingenious ergonomic object that is honed to unrivalled efficiency. The same application of design, creativity and engineering rigour manifested itself in the building; not as a mimicry of the bicycle but as a three-dimensional response to the functional requirements of the venue. The distinctive form emerged from an integrated team approach which focused on the performance and efficiency of every aspect of the building.

The Velodrome contains 6,000 seats in both Olympic and Legacy modes and responds to both contexts in an appropriate manner with minimal transformation. The upper and lower seating tiers are split by the main public circulation concourse which forms the main point of entry into the arena and allows spectators to maintain contact with the action on the track as they circulate around the building. The concourse is fully glazed to allow views both into and out of the building. It also helps to visually separate the Western Red Cedar clad upper bowl from the ground floor back of house accommodation which is largely hidden behind the landscaped earth berms that form a visual plinth at the East and West ends of the building.

The Olympic Delivery Authority set a number of sustainability and material targets; through careful consideration and integration of the architecture, structure and building services the design has met or exceeded these requirements.