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Herne Hill Velodrome - Velo Club et Musee de Londres

Part 1 Project 2012
University of East London, UK
Herne Hill Velodrome-Vela Club et Musee de Londres

The former Olympic Velodrome in Herne Hill, South East London, is the last remaining finals venue from the 1948 Olympic Games. It was built in 1891 and was, for many years, the centre of South East England's track racing circuit attracting crowds of over 10,000 people in the 20s and 30s. The original Pavilion and much of the infrastructure are now derelict and plans are already underway to upgrade the entire facility. Following extensive investigations into he specific conditions of the Herne Hill Velodrome and its infrastructure, our brief was to develop a community based facility, hat responded to its site, the local context and the existing site users.

This project aims to enhance the experience of the cyclists, spectators and other visitors to the site by emphasising the interactions between the participants. Initially a cyclist zone is defined in order to improve the convenience and experience of cycling within the site. Secondly a visitors' journey is also suggested that traverses between and through the cycling related activities and spaces. The visitors' journey links together the left-over spaces surrounding the velodrome enhancing the experience of observing both the track racing, preparation of cycles and the display of a collection of antique bikes currently held in storage on he site. The proposal promotes community involvement and increases the accessible access to the site. The workshops are made available as a community resource to encourage the repair and reuse of unwanted bicycles diverting them away from landfill.

The load bearing brick plinth of the old pavilion is preserved and reused and a new prefabricated lightweight structural steel frame structure rests on top. The visitors' journey is read as a suspended path visually engaged with the cycling activities underneath. The proposal is a response to the Olympic motto; Faster, Higher, Stronger', which was adapted to Faster, Lighter, Greener. This project combines 'faster' offsite production, 'lighter' weight materials and 'greener' minimum energy structures in order to produce an economical and environmentally sustainable architectural proposition.


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