London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

| 27 comments

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

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.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

The hyperbolic paraboloid-shaped steel-framed structure sits on a 360 degree glazed concourse at entry level, and is clad in timber with little apertures to allow for natural ventilation.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

The lightweight, double-curving, cable-net roof structure was designed to reflect the shape of the cycling track.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

6,000 seats are located all the way around the track and are split into an upper and lower tier by the glazed concourse.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

48,000 cubic metres of material was excavated to create the bowl in which the building sits.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

The London 2012 Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic indoor cycling events and also includes changing rooms, retail facilities, workshop and a viewing concourse.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

All our stories on the London 2012 Olympic Games »
More sports venues on Dezeen »

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Photography is by Richard Davies.

Here's some more information from the Olympic Delivery Authority:


London 2012 Velodrome unveiled as Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny & GB riders try out track for first time

- ODA completes construction of first Olympic Park venue on time and on budget

British cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jason Kenny took to the track in the London 2012 Velodrome for the first time today as the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) unveiled the first Olympic Park venue to finish construction, on time and to budget.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities. The ODA started work on the Velodrome in March 2009 with construction now completed and the first Olympic Park venue in place nearly 18 months before the start of the Games.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Selected riders from the Great Britain Cycling Team tried out the Velodrome for the first time today including Beijing Games medal winners Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar, together with rising stars and established names in the GB cycling team. The cyclists were joined in unveiling the Velodrome by ODA Chairman John Armitt, Seb Coe Chair of the London Organising Committee (LOCOG), Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt, Mayor of London Boris Johnson and other guests.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Velodrome design:

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.

The winning design team designed the Velodrome to be lightweight and efficient to reflect the efficient design of a bicycle. The distinct Velodrome roof has been designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track, using a very lightweight double curving cable net structure.
Cable-net roof structure weighs 30kg/m2 compared to 65kg/m2 for the Beijing Velodrome. The 6,000 seats are split into a lower and upper tier, allowing a 360 degrees concourse level in between with a continuous ribbon of full height windows offering views out across the rest of the Olympic Park and London skyline. The external sides of the Velodrome are clad in a striking Western Red Cedar timber to draw a parallel with the timber track inside the venue.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Velodrome construction:

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) started construction work on the Velodrome in March 2009 - it was one of the last of the big 5 venues to start work but will be the first Olympic Park venue to be completed in early 2011. Some 48,000 cubic metres of material was excavated to create the bowl for the Velodrome, enough to fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

2,500 sections of steelwork were installed to form the Velodrome structure, rising in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure. The cable-net roof lift took eight weeks to complete and features some 16km of cabling, covering an area of 12,000m2. The Velodrome is one of the most sustainable venues in the Olympic Park and the lightweight roof weighs roughly half that of any other covered Velodrome, helping create a highly-efficient building. The striking outer cladding of the venue uses 5,000m2 of Western Red Cedar timber.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Velodrome track:

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.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Velodrome sustainability:

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.

London 2012 Velodrome by Hopkins Architects

Click for larger image

Velodrome facilities:

6,000 seat Velodrome - to host the Olympic and Paralympic indoor track cycling events in 2012
250m UCI (International Cycling Union) approved indoor track
360 degree Public Concourse for viewing all cycling activities
8 changing rooms
Café and event serveries
Bike hire & retail outlet – families can hire bikes to use the new facilities
Cycle workshop, Gym + physio, and storage for over 300 bikes
Venue will be linked into cycle routes across London, linking the new venue with the whole of the capital


See also:

.

London 2012 Olympics
stadium by HOK Sport
Green Point Stadium by
GMP Architekten
ArcelorMittal Orbit by
Anish Kapoor
  • nofelix
  • http://twitter.com/keiralx @keiralx

    Very pleasantly surprised by this new olympic addition. I saw it as the roof cables were being hung, it has a strikingly pure, economical and lean geometry which seems perfect for a velodrome. Overall the olympic park is looking very modestly accomplished, which as a contrast to Beijing seems entirely appropriate.

  • me

    Oei, very nice shape. Good material choice in combination with the form. Probably a lot of craftsmanship needed. I like it!

  • amsam

    It's one of the most gorgeous, sleek but textured arenas I've ever seen– but somehow constructing this building to house bicycle races makes the Olympics seem like a huge expensive ridiculous boondoggle in a world where so many people are needy. Nothing new in that thought I guess, but somehow it's the first thing I thought when I saw it was a velodrome. And I'm a bicycle enthusiast! Hopefully the building will find some more populist uses after the party is over.

  • http://www.leattiser.com Attiser

    Amazing work !
    requires great planning, hard work and creativity….

  • Erik Muñoz

    An example of how to design something without looking for stardom

  • julesbb

    What a building should be like, beautiful, functional and affordable, unlike the embarrassment that Zaha is doing down the road. There could be three of these buildings round the country for the cost of her over run. Hopkins gets my vote by far.

  • http://www.lewismitchell.com lewis

    It's very refreshing to see some iconic timber architecture here in the UK.

  • joh

    sponsored by pringles :)

  • http://hifilofi.co.uk/ LBRN

    So beautiful…I wish I was a professional cyclist just to go on a quick lap there…Maybe in another life…

  • tellsitlikeitis

    julesbb is hating on zaha. how very original.

  • mik

    pringles should advertise here.

  • Guest

    Beautiful. Just a shame that both this and the Aquatics Centre didn't get the timber frame they were meant to…

  • http://fizzfieldgrass-art.jimdo.com Fizz

    Not just technically fit for purpose but an aesthetically pleasing form. Yes re. above, it is a fair comment to bring the likes of Hadid into the argument as here we have an achievement in visual modesty as opposed to brash, attention-seeking architecture.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sujay-Ghorpadkar/1059593022 Sujay Ghorpadkar

    I like the simplicity of the form… Simple in terms of what meets the eye, but for the Architects and the Engineers, its as complex as any abstract de-constructive built form.
    Its more complex to perfectly engineer and execute a definite curvilinear form than to do brashful forms.
    I some times wonder if some of these abstract buildings are really what the Architect intended to build or were they what the workers ended up building…! :)

  • Cubasur

    Nice…had no idea it was to be timber clad up to the point i left London, pleasently surprised. Should sit well once the green comes up around it.

  • Dylan

    Saddledome anyone? Albeit a much more elegant version.

  • ellie

    whow! This is elegant!

  • joseph

    Green point staduim in timber

  • steef

    star of the olympic show for sure

  • http://www.facebook.com/kanwaldeep.kapoor Kanwal Deep Kapoor

    Show Stealer !!

  • nuanda

    Old Palasport in Milan -> Copy & Paste

  • I. Nina Voig

    Hopkins and Hadid, two related and similar forms of beauty: both, poetry about motion. If you like one, doesn't mean you have to dislike the other. Quit the Hadid bashing: if you don't like Hadid, you don't like architecture.

  • Jurij

    I. Nina Voig:
    " Hopkins and Hadid, two related and similar forms of beauty: both, poetry about motion. If you like one, doesn't mean you have to dislike the other. Quit the Hadid bashing: if you don't like Hadid, you don't like architecture. "

    Oh please… there is so much more to architecture then curvy lines and a biiig storyline that tries to explain what all the fuss is about. Saarinen knew when and how to use curves, Zaha is using them for curves' sake. Which brings out the question – where's the quality of "architecture" where the architect is struggling to transform the concept to drawing, engineer is struggling to , the workers are struggling and we are struggling to figure out what is all about.
    However, at quick glance Aquatics center seems one of Zaha's more logical and homogenous projects…
    Keep in mind… architecture is not about making sculptures. We have sculptors and museums for that. Your so called beauty and poetry come naturally if the building has a clear and simple idea, logical construction, useful function with an "individual cherry on top".

    Also… the Velodrome is just beautiful and simple in scale, texture and composition :)

  • http://swagsection.com/architecture-2012-olympic-velodrome/ Pierce Harrell

    The velodrome is seriously one of the best modern pieces of architecture. The way the roof slopes really creates this surreal effect. I found a review on this blog that was pretty interesting http://swagsection.com/architecture-2012-olympic-
    In the article the author talks about how the hopkins architects who built this building made the structure so it would mimic a bicycle. Unusual but very intuitive.

  • Wasted Resources

    Sickening to see old growth forests being butchered for this kind of s***!

    • Jason

      @Wasted Resources: You clearly don't know what you're talking about. No old growth forests were butchered, the woods used are Pine and Western Red Cedar. Pine grows quickly and is planted in huge tracts to support sustainable wood use. Western Red Cedar is not even native to England. It is native to the American Northwest and is cultivated in Europe and other areas specifically for ornamental purposes. So even if the lumber came from forests, which they almost certainly don't, cutting them down would actually return those forests closer to their natural state before the species was introduced.