Located in the north of the Olympic Park, the Velodrome is one of the most sustainable and iconic venues of the London 2012 Games.
Sustainable choices have been made wherever possible; from the sourcing of wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council used on the track and external cladding, to the installation of a 100% naturally ventilated system that eliminates the need for air conditioning.
The design and build
The Velodrome’s design incorporates natural ventilation and lets in an abundance of natural light, reducing the amount of energy needed for artificial lighting. Its roof collects rainwater that will reduce mains water usage by more than 70 per cent.
The venue’s designers worked closely with a design panel, including Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, to tailor the track geometry, temperature and environmental conditions with the aim of creating a record-breaking track.
The Velodrome has capacity for 6,000 spectators, with the seating split into two tiers. A glass wall around the venue’s perimeter between the lower and upper tiers of the venue’s seating, giving spectators a 360-degree view of the Olympic Park.
Wherever possible, the materials used in the venue’s construction were sustainably sourced, including the 5,000 square metres of western red cedar used to clad its exterior. Both this and the Siberian pine for the Velodrome’s track were certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
In addition, the choice of a cable-net roof design (which is ‘strung’ with steel cables in the manner of a tennis racket) reduced the amount of material required and decreased construction time by 20 weeks.
Construction of the Velodrome started in March 2009 and was completed less than two years later in February 2011. It was the first sporting venue to be finished, 18 months ahead of the Games.
In April 2012 the Velodrome won an Architecture Award at an awards ceremony hosted by the Design Museum.
After the Games
Legacy was at the forefront of the design and build of the Velodrome. After the Games, the venue will be handed over to the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority and form the heart of a new VeloPark for use by the local community, clubs and elite athletes.
The VeloPark will also include the reconfigured BMX track, a new mountain bike track and a new road cycle circuit, as well as a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities.