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My other bicycle club has a velodrome for a roof

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May 24, 2012

In a move likely to inflict a sudden pang of inadequacy in bicycle clubs the world over, N...

In a move likely to inflict a sudden pang of inadequacy in bicycle clubs the world over, NL Architects has cooked up a concept both radical and supremely simple: a bicycle club with a velodrome on the roof

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In a move likely to inflict a sudden pang of inadequacy in bicycle clubs the world over, NL Architects has cooked up a concept both radical and supremely simple: a bicycle club with a velodrome on the roof.

Architects are under increasing pressure, it seems, to come up with innovative uses for the roofs of the buildings they design. Where once it was perfectly acceptable for building tops to merely keep out the rain, or perhaps, at a push, prop up an air conditioning unit or two, they are now expected to combat climate change, generate energy, and if possible, provide functional living space.

Asked to come up with a design for a bicycle club to be built in a large resort somewhere in Southern China, NL Architects have arguably gone one better, proposing to site a fully functional velodrome on the roof. Sitting on top of a bike rental shop and a cafe, if built it will be perfectly possible for people to hire a bicycle and ride it for a few hours without ever leaving the building.

The Netherlands-based designers compare their concept with a traditional pagoda, with the steeply banked bends of the bicycle track forming upward-curving eaves from the point of view of outside observers. NL Architects also claims the high, protruding roof could be "very welcome" in South China's tropical climes, presumably for the shade casts in the immediate exterior.

Architizer reports that the bicycle club-cum-velodrome could be built before the year's out.

Source: NL Architects, via Architizer

About the Author
James Holloway James lives in East London where he punctuates endless tea drinking with freelance writing and meteorological angst. Unlocking Every Extend Extra Extreme’s “Master of Extreme” achievement was the fourth proudest moment of his life.   All articles by James Holloway
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9 Comments

It would be such a bad day for anyone who wiped out and cleared a railing.

These two would find themselves going down the stairs:



Ryan Cragg
24th May, 2012 @ 01:26 pm PDT

Kerr-ash!! My first thought. 2-wheel bikes lean wildly side to side especially under extreme speed starts. They also wander around depending on skills; or lack of same. This is a great idea (perhaps for the Darwin award) but lots and lots of netting and mattresses might be a very good addition instead of an afterthought.

Chris Jordan
25th May, 2012 @ 10:00 am PDT

It doesn't look like there's much of a building under that roof. It actually doesn't look like the roof is much of a roof either since it has 2 large stairs cutting into it. If the track were twice the size and the stairs were a third the size, it might be a practical design.

kuryus
25th May, 2012 @ 02:06 pm PDT

Good gravy. Physics, people! Ryan Cragg, the outside railing and netting is about head-high. Nobody's going over that. Existing velodromes have lower barriers and nobody has ever flown over them even though racers do far higher speeds. Centrifugal force (imaginary though it may be) keeps people away from the stairs. And if the stairs are a concern in a crash, just use an angled fence diagonally across the landing. Since riders only go counterclockwise, an angled barrier would block them from going down the stairs while allowing access from the other direction.

Chris Jordan, "extreme speed starts"? This isn't an Olympic track. It's for casual riders. You start slowly next to the "infield" and go up the track as you go faster.

kuryus, take a look at NL's slideshow on their site. The building is bigger than it looks.

Gadgeteer
26th May, 2012 @ 07:23 am PDT

Sure it can be improved on but a clever concept!

Colin Macpherson
26th May, 2012 @ 07:42 pm PDT

@kuryus..don't know what you are looking at but the upright posts supporting the roof have glass between them which makes for a rather large showroom/cafe. At each end are several entry/exit doors with a privacy block in the middle housing toilets.

On a practical note how do they handle rainfall run off from the stairs into the building or for that matter heat loss? Guess if they have glass doors at the bottom drainage could be at the bottom stair as it would then be outside.

Great design and the top half of the stairs could be used as observation bleachers.

dgate
27th May, 2012 @ 09:16 am PDT

All, the term "concept" generally means its a tool for the following ONLY

a) A basic idea shown in a medium suitable for discussion with others that don't share one speciality - typically a model or drawing showing an approach to a SOMETHING,

ie a stepping stone before "the initial design"

b) A thing that is used to center and focus discussions.

I.e. "We were thinking something sort of like this .. do we go futher down this path and do it properly ? Or abort doing so and go down another as there is something major about the RAW idea that has whoever has the gold going "Cya ! there's the door" over.

For that purpose this concept drawing is a success.

Andrew Kubicki
27th May, 2012 @ 11:02 pm PDT

absolute Guinness, brilliant design would love to ride/work there, i could see this working in a lot of major cities, there are open spaces where such a facility could work with the people and the place, if it is a sustainable timber construction it could be shaded to fit in with the surroundings.

it would be amazing to ride with trees all around, hyde park, central park anyone :)

stuxtttr
31st May, 2012 @ 04:17 pm PDT

Love stuttter's idea may be develop cycle lanes roof top to roof top or at canopy hight good for mind and body :-)

Paul Adams
19th November, 2013 @ 10:11 am PST
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