London 2012 Velodrome

Cycling inspired the concept for the Velodrome: the bicycle is an ingenious ergonomic object that is honed to unrivalled efficiency.

One of the four permanent venues on the Olympic Park, the Velodrome provides 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. We wanted the same application of design creativity and engineering rigour that goes into the design and manufacture of a bicycle to manifest itself in the building; not as a mimicry of the bicycle, but as a three-dimensional response to the functional requirements of the venue, whose distinctive form has emerged from an integrated design team approach, which focused on the performance and efficiency of every aspect of the building.

The building forms an elegant response to the brief by using simple materials in an efficient manner to meet the client's aspirations within the available budget. It 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. Work started on site in February 2009 and was completed ahead of programme and on budget in January 2011.


  • Location London, United Kingdom
  • Value Confidential
  • Size 21,700 m²
  • Client Olympic Delivery Authority
  • Year 2011

Selected Awards

  • Archmarathon Sport Award
  • ArchDaily Building of the Year Award (Sports Architecture)
  • Civic Trust Award
  • Civic Trust Awards: Special Award for Olympic & Paralympic Projects
  • Design Museum: Architecture Design of the Year
  • Structural Steel Design Award
  • WAN Award, Civic Building Sector
  • Elle Decoration: British Design Awards, First Place
  • Condé Nast Traveller Innovation & Design Awards: Infrastructure Winner
  • LABC Building Excellence Awards: Best Sustainable Project
  • ICE London Civil Engineering Award
  • New London Architecture Award: 'Play' Winner
  • AJ100: Building of the Year Award
  • New London Architecture Award: Joint Overall Winner
  • RIBA Regional Award
  • RIBA Regional Award: London Client of the Year
  • Architecture and Design Business Stadium Award
  • Stirling Prize: People's Choice
  • BCI Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award
  • The Institution of Structural Engineers Supreme Award for Engineering Excellence