#EngineeringTheOlympics: The Olympic Velodrome

engineering careers  #EngineeringTheOlympics: The Olympic Velodrome

Unlike custom built venues, the Olympic Velodrome was originally intended as a re-use of the legacy velodrome from the Pan American Games. When refurbishment proved too costly and a new velodrome was built.

Located in Barra Olympic Park, the Velodrome was one of the last of the venues to be completed, only being officially handed over to the Rio 2016 Organising Committee by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro July 25, 2016.

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The concept design was by Münster-based Schürmann Architects who have previously designed seven Olympic velodromes.

The previous Autódromo Internacional Nelson Piquet was dismantled in 2013 during the first stages of the 2016 Barra Olympic Park construction.


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While the initial Rio bid had planned to repurpose the old building this was abandoned in favour of a whole new Velodrome because it was not approved by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for Olympic events.

Adapting the old building to meet the standard required by UCI would have cost around the same as building a new one.


The new velodrome design is shaped like a bicycle helmet (above).

Unfortunately the reconstruction turned out to be the most problematic of all the Rio venues. Near constant delays and eventual change of contractors lead to all test events being cancelled.

Schuermann Architects of Münster, Germany, is a family dynasty of architects. They specialise in the design of cycle tracks, velodromes and indoor athletics tracks. They were founded in 1925.

The have designed many velodromes for Olympic Games; Berlin in 1936, Rome in 1960, Mexico City in 1968, Munich in 1972, Seoul in 1986, Barcelona in 1990, and Beijing in 2008