04 February 2012

Buenos Aires Velodrome - Schematic Design Phase

After almost a year of working on designing a master plan for the Drexel campus, it's finally time to start something new. I'm currently in the process of designing a velodrome (indoor bicycle race track) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The project description is as follows:
This project includes designing a velodrome, an indoor bicycle racing track, that will provide both a world class sporting venue for the nation and a civic amenity for the Portenas in the neighborhoods surrounding the site. The site is located between the neighborhoods of Colegiales and Palermo Hollywood just outside of the center of Buenos Aires. It is currently an under used industrial area close to public transportation, airports, and the port, and not far from many of the city's other sports venues that are located just to the north along the Rio de la Plata. The intent of this project is to explore the tectonics of long span structures; not just from the standpoint of connecting two points and supporting a roof, but creating a meaningful architectural space, shaping the volume of the building, controlling daylighting, articulating building joints, surfaces and finishes, creating an identity on the interior and exterior of the building, and relating this new form to the existing surrounding context. 

My initial design concept is to play off the juxtaposition between the site, a dense urban area with straight lines and well defined intersections, and what one might expect from a bicycle racing track - dynamic, motion fast and light, etc. I'm currently in the process of laying out the site. The actual velodrome is the largest building on the site. Right now, I'm thinking about taking the curtain wall on the eastern side of the building, giving it a big upward "swoosh," and making it a media panel that loops clips of bike races, etc.

Like I said, this is still the initial design phase, but I welcome any input or constructive criticism! Thanks!

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