Velodrome for the people
With all of us in London currently swamped by all things Olympic, we are seeing new buildings being created as a ‘true legacy for the London Games’. All well and good, but nothing much is being created for people living in london. The Olympic Velodrome seems to be the most admired of all buildings, but sadly not many of us will see it. Sporting facilities for the general public should have been factored in as legacies too. This project caught my eye, when thinking of what London could have had.
‘Bicycle Club’ is a pavilion dedicated to bicycling in Hainan, China designed by amsterdam-based NL Architects. A rooftop cycling arena is supported by a glass-enclosed cafe at ground level. The oval-footprint structure’s protruding canopy is essential due to the tropical climate, shading the perimeter seating. the elegant upward curvature of the eaves evokes the form of the traditional and functional pagoda. Visitors set their bicycles within a recessed trough and easily walk up two staircases to the open-air velodrome. The area beneath by the stairs contains and conceals public restrooms. Simple, effective, and very very well designed. It seems that China is becoming the prime mover in buying and appreciating adventurous design and architecture.