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Velodrome to be first complete 2012 structure

Work has been completed on the steel structure of the London 2012 Velodrome, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced today, keeping it on track to be the first venue to be completed in the Olympic Park in early 2011.

The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012, and then in legacy.

Construction work started on the Velodrome in March 2009 making it one of the last of the ‘Big Five’ Olympic Park venues to get underway but with the Velodrome steel structure complete and work now underway to install the distinctive double-curved cable-net roof, the venue is on track for completion in early 2011 to make it the first Olympic Park venue to be completed.

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: “The completion of the Velodrome steel structure gives us an exciting glimpse of what will not only be a world-class venue for the Games and legacy, but another striking piece of architecture for the Olympic Park.

“The Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre are already firm fixtures on the east London skyline but the Velodrome taking shape has created a new focal point in the north of the Olympic Park. This year will be the toughest so far across the site, and we now turn our attentions to the lifting of the huge cable-net roof of the Velodrome, a key engineering challenge which will help crown this spectacular venue,” he said.

The Velodrome is being constructed by contractors ISG and more than 2,500 sections of steelwork were installed to complete the steel structure of the venue. The steelwork sections rise in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure, helping form the distinct double-curved roof structure which has been designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track. Bolton-based company Watsons Steel supplied the fabricated steel for the Velodrome structure in a deal worth over £3million.

With the Velodrome steel structure complete, work is now underway to install the venue roof in what is one of the largest cable-net roof lifts in the UK, using some 16 kilometres of cable. The Velodrome is one of the most sustainable venues in the Olympic Park and the lightweight cable-net roof structure will only weigh 30kg per m2, roughly half that of any other covered Velodrome, helping create a highly-efficient building.

The cable-net roof is due to be completed in the Spring when work will then begin to cover the roof and install the outer cladding of the venue. The Velodrome structure is due to be watertight by the summer, allowing work to install the timber cycling track to begin in the Autumn. The venue is due to be completed in early 2011.

After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create a legacy VeloPark that will combine cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling ‘hub’.

The legacy VeloPark will be owned, funded and managed by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The construction of the VeloPark facilities includes funding from LOCOG, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority (LVRPA), Sport England, Transport for London (TfL), and the London Marathon Charitable Trust (LMCT).

Velodrome facts

Contractor: ISG

Consultant: Expedition Engineering

Architect: Hopkins Architects, Grant Associates


  • Velodrome roof designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track
  • 6,000 seats and 360 degree Public Concourse in legacy for viewing all cycling activities
  • Some 48,000 cubic metres of material was excavated to create the bowl for the Velodrome, enough to fill 19 Olympic-sized swimming pools
  • Velodrome designers are working closely with track designers to tailor the track geometry and set the temperature and environmental conditions within the venue with the aim of creating a record-breaking track
  • Foundations: more than 900 piles driven up to 26m beneath the ground
  • More than 2,500 sections of steelwork
  • Venue will be linked into cycle routes across London, linking the new venue with the whole of the capital
  • Legacy café, changing rooms, cycle workshop, Gym, & storage for more than 300 bikes


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