The Velodrome was the first venue to be completed in the Olympic Park — in February 2011 — and came in under budget to boot at around £93million. It was not long before the new venue started picking up accolades, attracting a top award for structural engineering last year.
Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy assisted in the design of the venue, which is probably the 'greenest' in the park, with its sustainable credentials including the following:
- Cable-net roof design (with steel cable strung in a tennis racket form) reducing the amount of building material required and decreasing construction time.
- Natural ventilation and an abundance of natural light, reducing the amount of power needed for air conditioning and lighting.
- Roof design collects rain water in order to reduce mains water used by over 70%.
- Responsibly sourced materials, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, such as 5,000 square metres of western red cedar exterior cladding and the Siberian pine laid down for the Velodrome track area.
The 6,000 spectator seats are split into three tiers, with 3,500 in the lower section around the track and the rest divided into two upper tiers housed in the curves of the Velodrome's roof. The glass wall around the venue’s perimeter which separates the lower and upper tiers gives spectators a 360-degree panoramic view of the Olympic Park site.
After the Games the stadium will form part of a Velopark also including a BMX track, a one-mile road circuit and a mountain bike course which will be managed by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The objective will be to make the Velopark facility a key asset to the local community, as well as clubs and elite athletes, with bike hire and cycle workshop operations planned for the post-Games adaptation.
Public facilities: The Velodrome offers a range of facilities, including refreshment stands, baby changing facilities, the Games Mobility service and a London 2012 Shop.
History: The building work to create the Olympic Velodrome commenced early in 2009 and concluded in February 2011 - the first of the Olympic Park sporting venues to be completed. In the spring of 2012 the Velodrome was the winner of the Design Museum Architecture Awards, a testament to the work undertaken by contributor Sir Chris Hoy on the project.
What’s on?: Track cycling (August 2-7).
How do you get there?: The Olympic Park can be reached by rail, underground, Docklands Light Railway, bus or coach. National Rail, London Underground and DLR all serve Stratford station to the east of the park and West Ham station to the south, while Transport for London has bus stops in the area and there will also be coach services to the park.
Find it on the map: here.
Location – in relation to other venues: The Velodrome is situated in the Olympic Park in Stratford, East London, next to the BMX Track and the Basketball Arena.
Location – in Olympic park: The Velodrome is located to the north of the Olympic Park, close to Hackney Marshes and Eton Manor Gate.
Location – on the tube: Closest underground stations are Stratford (Jubilee and Central lines - around 15-minute walk) or West Ham (District and Hammersmith & City lines – around 25-minute walk).