Tell us about the early design brief
The brief called for a 6,000 seat velodrome together with a BMX track that would be joined by a one-mile road cycle circuit and mountain bike trails after the London 2012 Games.
What inspired your design?
Quite simply, cycling. The bicycle itself is an ingenious ergonomic object that is honed to unrivalled efficiency. We wanted the same application to design creativity and engineering rigour that goes into the design and manufacture of a bicycle to manifest itself in the building.
What challenges did you face along the way?
One of the key challenges for the project was to design a facility that would deliver a powerful and effective image for London 2012 that could be equally useful after the Games. It also had to be flexible enough to be able to host everything from professional to community and family cycling events. The final design was created for the legacy beyond London 2012 and then converted for the Olympic Games – we effectively treated the Games as a house-warming party!
How did it feel to be involved in such an important British project?
We were absolutely thrilled to be selected to design the Velodrome and to be associated with the delivery of such a successful Games. We have a number of keen cycling fans in our office and collectively we feel very honoured to have been able to design a building that featured so prominently in the representation of the UK on the global stage.