Velodrome progress

After reading about wood flooring being installed in the Velodrome, I have been digging around for progress updates on the project. These can be difficult to find, as generally the architects, contractors and clients on such high profile projects tend to keep things under wraps until construction is complete. For the 2012 Olympics, some companies are not even allowed to publicise their involvement with a stadium or arena until after the Games have finished.

2012 Olympics velodrome (Oct 2011)
Image by Alexander Kachkaev

After reading the sumptuous Architects’ Journal Building Study special about the 2012 velodrome by Hopkins Architects (above), I have been digging for information about Glasgow’s forthcoming track. I read a short piece in Scottish architecture magazine Urban Realm, which mainly covered the fire and thermal performance of the cladding of the building, which houses both the velodrome in its 2000 seat arena, as well as the National Indoor Sports Arena, a 5000 seat venue.

Rather embarrasingly, I misread the mention of ‘a hydraulic track that retracts when not in use’ as a reference to the velodrome itself. ‘How the hell would that work?’ I naively mused. But as Euan Lindsay pointed out, you’d need a pretty deep void to be able to retract a bike track, which had not been allowed for in these photos by Ben Cooper from May 2011:

Velodrome 1

Velodrome 3

In fact the retractable running track is part of the NISA. Architects 3DReid have some design visualisations that show a skatepark in the centre of the track. A pretty sensible use of the area, if you ask me, as it encourages use of the building by young people and would ensure a good legacy.

And a shot ©/courtesy of the Games Legacy Team, Scottish Government, from early December shows progress in the shell but no track as yet.

Hopefully more photos will emerge, and the track is due to open in late 2012. In the meantime Glasgow fixed gear riders’ will have to content themselves with a somewhat smaller velodrome.

Red Bull Mini Drome Glasgow/Cycling/Fixed Gear/Racing

Thanks to Richard Kenworthy Photography for permission to use this professional shot.