British based FaulknerBrowns Architects have proposed plans for "one of only two velodromes in recent memory being planned" in the city of Edmonton, Canada. In a place where winters are cold and long, reaching -20 degrees celcius, the facility can be adapted for both indoor and outdoor use throughout the year. Clad in Canadian timber and polished stainless steel shingles wrapping around the building like a "twisted ribbon resembling the twisted sinuous cycle track," the scheme will be only the second major indoor cycle track facility in the country.
The site, located in Coronation Park, was originally opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957 and contains a landscaped setting based on the Royal sceptre. In their collaboration with two local practices - Hughes Condon Marler Architects (Vancouver) and Dub Architects (Edmonton) - the design team's "mix of community-focus and elite-sports expertise" was key to winning the commission.
The cycle track will be raised by a full storey above ground level "allowing for a high level of connectivity between the community recreational facilities at ground floor, including direct views from the building entrance through public spaces and an 'urban basketball court', with direct physical and visual connections through to the surrounding parkland." According to the architects, "unlike almost all other indoor cycling facilities in the world, the cycle track at the upper level will have unrivalled visibility and views of this typically isolated sport directly from the 'social heart' of the building."
The material used for the velodrome track is commonly the slow-growing Siberian Spruce. The architects are currently working with the Canadian Wood Council to try to find a more locally sourced supply of appropriate timber and thereby "make the project that bit more sustainable."
PhotographsCourtesy of FaulknerBrowns Architects
References: FaulknerBrowns, City of Edmonton, Edmonton Journal