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the velodrome

Here we outline the top five considerations for designing a cycling velodrome, which informed our design of the VIDENA Velodrome in Lima for the Pan American and Parapan American Games in 2019. The UCI Category II facility is a sustainable upgrade to the existing outdoor track. Taking only 14 months to design and construct, the building includes a roof and façade, a seating bowl and associated athlete and spectator facilities.


1. Context

As for any project, location, site characteristics and existing site elements play a crucial role in velodrome design and construction. Wind conditions and ventilation strategy will directly impact roof and envelope design.

2. UCI Classification

It is important to understand the type of UCI classification the velodrome is aimed to obtain. Classifications differ greatly on building requirements and impact overall building design as velodromes may be indoors or outdoors.

3. Velodrome track

Velodrome tracks are complex three-dimensional wooden structures that need to comply with strict classification evaluations. The track is the central point of the design and velodrome buildings are set around them. Each track is unique to every venue and the most important part for a racing cyclist is the exit from the curve into the straight part of it.

4. Infield access strategy

Velodrome tracks have a considerable infield area which has the potential to be used for other sports or activities when not used as warm up area for cycling competitions. Therefore, access strategy for different types of users and floor finishes are important considerations that impact its design and overall success.

5. Track bend and atmosphere

Velodrome seating bowls differ greatly from seating arrangements for flat and rectangular Fields of Play (FoP). The complex geometry of a velodrome track always has obstructed views on the bends. Seats with obstructed views are kept as engaging as possible, to keep the same vibrant atmosphere around the entire perimeter of the track.


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