Track in line for Olympic Park's first completion… now for the roof...

Work has finished on the steel structure of the London 2012 Velodrome, the first venue likely to be completed in the Olympic Park.

When work started in March 2009 the Velodrome was one of the last venues off the block, but is now on track for completion in early 2011.

As our pictures show, the steelwork sections rise in height by 12 metres from the shallowest point to the highest part of the structure, helping form the distinct double-curved roof structure which has been designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track.

With this phase complete, work is now underway to install the venue roof in what is one of the largest cable-net roof lifts in the UK, using some 16 kilometres of cable.

The 6,000 seat Velodrome will host the Olympic and Paralympic track cycling events in 2012. After the Games, the legacy Velodrome will be used by elite athletes and the local community and will include a café, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities.

British Olympic gold medallist Jamie Staff recently visited the velodrome and was impressed by what he saw.

“It was good to see at first hand how the venue is being designed and built to create a great crowd atmosphere and deliver the best possible conditions for track cyclists,” he said. “I’m sure this will be a perfect venue for Team GB to continue to hit Gold in 2012.”

ODA Chief Executive David Higgins said: “The completion of the Velodrome steel structure gives us an exciting glimpse of what will not only be a world-class venue for the Games and legacy, but another striking piece of architecture for the Olympic Park. The Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre are already firm fixtures on the east London skyline but the Velodrome taking shape has created a new focal point in the north of the Olympic Park.

“This year will be the toughest so far across the site, and we now turn our attentions to the lifting of the huge cable-net roof of the Velodrome, a key engineering challenge which will help crown this spectacular venue.”

After the Games, a road cycle circuit and mountain bike course will be added to the Velodrome and BMX circuit to create a legacy VeloPark that will combine cycling facilities across all disciplines in one cycling ‘hub’.

Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority who will own, fund and manage the Velodrome in legacy, said: “While the construction work has been racing ahead, we’ve been working closely with our partners to develop a legacy programme that will enable everyone from school children to local clubs to elite cyclists to get the most from this stunning building.

“As the owners, funders and managers of the whole VeloPark in legacy we’ll make sure this first rate centre will be truly world class, welcoming cyclists of all levels and disciplines to train, race or just simply cycle for fun. It will be an integral part of the chain of sporting excellence we are creating through the 26 mile long, 10,000 acre LeeValley Regional Park.”

The Velodrome is one of the most sustainable venues in the Olympic Park and the lightweight cable-net roof structure will only weigh 30kg per m2, roughly half that of any other covered Velodrome, helping create a highly-efficient building.

The cable-net roof is due to be completed in the spring when work will then begin to cover the roof and install the outer cladding of the venue. The Velodrome structure is due to be watertight by the summer, allowing work to install the timber cycling track to begin in the autumn.

A video blog of Jamie Staff’s visit can be viewed at www.london2012.com.