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    London 2012 Velodrome


    Inspired by the bicycle, an ingenious ergonomic Velodrome honed to efficiency.

    Location:London, United Kingdom
    Size:21,700 m²
    Client:Olympic Delivery Authority
    Awards:AJ100: Building of the Year Award;
    BCI Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award;
    Stirling Prize: People's Choice;
    Civic Trust Award;
    RIBA Regional Award;
    ArchDaily Building of the Year Award;
    Structural Steel Design Award.

    The 2012 Velodrome delivered a new permanent 6,000 seat venue for indoor track cycling events at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As one of only four permanent buildings within the Olympic Park, our strategy was to design the building for legacy mode and then adapt it for games mode. Iconic, sustainable and emblematic of the ethos of the Games, the Velodrome has become part of its lasting legacy, continuing to act as a hub for local and international cycling.

    The design team worked in close collaboration to deliver the most efficient, rational and sustainable building, on budget and ahead of programme. An iterative design process between competition and completion saw the overall volume and area reduced by 15% and 35,000m2 respectively. The compact, ergonomic form – affectionately known as The Pringle – expresses the building’s function, and is seamlessly integrated with structure and services to help achieve the ambitious sustainability targets set out by the Olympic Delivery Authority. Efficient space planning and volumetric design kept the building envelope and enclosed spaces to a minimum, with reduced construction and running costs.

    Ultra-efficient structural design reduced both cost and embodied carbon with a cable net roof that required 27% less steel than a conventional roof. Daylight is drawn deep into the building and augmented by energy efficient artificial lighting linked to an intelligent control system that can be used to provide elevated lighting levels for major events. Natural ventilation is integrated into the building facades and, combined with exposed thermal mass in strategic locations, allows for passive cooling of the building in the warm season. All materials were carefully specified to minimise environmental damage and ensure ethical procurement.

    “The Velodrome is a perfect coincidence of architecture and structure, of function and form; so you couldn’t even get a cigarette paper between them. That’s a recipe for cost efficiency!”

    Jon Coxeter-Smith, Former Head of Cost Management at ODA