London’s Olympic Velodrome: The New Mecca For Cyclists


Edited by Enrico Mancini

Where: London/UK
Architecture: Velodrome
Architects: Hopkins Architects

The London Velopark is a cycling centre in Leyton in east London. It is one of the permanent Olympic and Paralympic venues for the 2012 Games.
Since London had won the organization of the 2012 Olympic Games, they were already well aware about the importance of planning in a way that could guarantee an healthy legacy to the Lea Valley and the city itself.
Therefore, quite a few of the sports accommodations are temporary structures: the Basketball Arena will be dismantled, the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre will be slimmed down after the Games.


Hopkins Architects’ Velodrome, instead, will carry on the Olympic legacy as a landmark of the soon-to-be-named Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. So one of the aims of the London-based office was to connect the inside track of the Velodrome with the outside tracks of the surrounding Velopark. They did that by splitting the seats, half at the bottom and half at the top, and lifting the upper seating bowl up in the air above a continuous ring of glazing around the concourse.

This allows views in from the Park and out to the road were the Sunday cyclists will ride combined with mountain bikers and the BMX riders.

Mike Taylor, senior partner at the firm, said the Velodrome’s comparatively small budget (£93 million) pushed the design team to achieve cost-effective result. In fact, they shrank wrap the building envelope as closely as possible around the minimum volume in order to use the minimum material.

The roof also was designed efficiently, and the 1000-plus timber cassette red cedar panels used to cover it, didn’t need any scaffolding to be lowered into place.

The descendants will have a cutting edge place where to ride.

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