Forming a team with architecture practice FaulknerBrowns, the studio was shortlisted in the competition to design the London 2012 Olympic Velodrome. The hero of any velodrome is the track itself, both as the stage for the cyclists who spin around on it and as a beautiful object in its own right. The studio had never seen a velodrome that echoed or drew inspiration from the special twisting wooden surface at its heart. Thinking of the craftspeople nailing and gluing the track together, the studio began to imagine what would happen if they kept turning around, putting layer upon layer of wood to create the track, then the seating, the walls and the ceiling. It would be as if the entire building had been formed from the spinning motion of the cyclists. To translate this notion into a viable design, the studio used the spiralling technique to make the most efficient, minimal envelope possible for a velodrome. It swept the wood from the track up into a kind of whirlwind, pulling it apart to let in daylight and illuminate the velodrome at night. The spinning geometry also offered a way to organize all of the building’s functions and gave meaning and logic to the circulation spaces. This motion continued outside, fusing the building with the surrounding velopark.


LOCOG – London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games


London, UK



Project Leader

Stuart Wood

Studio team

Mat Cash, Tom Chapman-Andrews, Christian Dahl, Jem Hanbury, Robert Wilson, Dandi Zhang


Adams Kara Taylor, Faulkner Browns Architects, Martha Schwartz Partners, Max Fordham Consulting Engineers