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Competition: Budapest Velodrome, Hungary

The Municipality of Budapest has announced an open international contest to design a €24 million velodrome overlooking Óbuda Island (Deadline: 30 May)

The competition seeks conceptual proposals to transform a disused former gas works into a 5,000-capacity cycling stadium, national training facility and internationally recognised centre for excellence.

The project is part of a large-scale programme of investment by the Hungarian government to transform ageing and disused areas of the capital city into state-of-the-art hubs for athletics, to build on the country’s medal haul in last year’s summer Olympics.

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

Source: Image by Károly Teleki / Industrial Heritage Hungary

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

According to the brief: ‘Hosting track cycling competitions in accordance with current international sporting federation standards requires a new closed Velodrome construction, which can also become a training hub.

‘Medium and long-term development plans are to reclaim many existing industrial sites, enriching the entire city with new sporting facilities.’

The new venue will be erected on the site of the former Óbuda gasworks which occupies a prominent plot on the Pest side of the Hungarian capital, overlooking Óbuda Island and the River Danube. The landmark facility was founded in 1856 and grew to become one of the most advanced gasworks in the world before closing in 1984.

Since its closure, parts of the site have been transformed into a business park with many listed buildings retained. The complex is a short distance from the Aquincum Museum which features the excavated ruins of this Roman capital city of the Pannonia province where emperor Marcus Aurelius is said to have written some of his book, Meditations.

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

Contest site: Óbuda gasworks

A €1.5 billion programme to redevelop the 108ha Óbuda island with new hotels, sports facilities and casinos was abandoned following the 2008 financial crash. Since then the islet, which hosts the annual Sziget music festival, has been earmarked for new cultural and sports facilities. A contest for a landmark €15,000 pavilion for the festival was launched earlier this year.

In February, Budapest announced it was abandoning its bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics after Rome and Hamburg also withdrew from the race. Only Paris and Los Angeles remain in the contest and a winner is expected to be announced in September.

Submissions for the velodrome must consider access and integration with the city’s transport network, orientation and presentation in respect to the site’s existing buildings, materials and the costs of construction, planning compliance and sustainability.

The competition language is in Hungarian and a 20,000,000 HUF prize fund will be shared between the winners, set to be announced on 23 June.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions to be sent by post is at 23:59 on 30 May. All submissions must be received by 12:00 on 5 June.

Contact details

Urbán Mariann
KKBK – Kiemelt Kormányzati Beruházások Központja Nonprofit Zrt.
AK22545
Horvát utca 12–26.
Budapest
1027
Hungary

Email: urban.mariann@kkbk.hu

View the competition website for more information

Derby Arena case study: Q&A with Michael Hall

The partner at FaulknerBrowns discusses lessons learned designing a new cycling arena for Derby, England

Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Michael Hall

How did your Derby Arena project create a suitable cycling facility for its local area?

The unique design features of Derby Arena are founded on the principles of flexibility and inclusivity. This has been the key to providing a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The decision to drive greater visibility and access to the track infield creates an intensive, dynamic cauldron of physical activity, unprecedented in any velodrome facility worldwide. The result is a facility that has raised the profile of track cycling in the area, promoting wider principles of health and wellbeing among the population and developing the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic prospects.

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Source: Image by Martine Hamilton Knight

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Which architectural, material and other methods did you harness in your design?

Due to the limited site area available for the arena, it was important to employ a design philosophy that made best use of all the available space within and around the track, to minimise the building’s footprint. All of the support facilities are tightly shrink-wrapped around the track, and even the space below it has also been fully utilised. The arena’s external appearance balances the desire to create an iconic location for cycling and activity in the city, with the need to be sympathetic to its wider context. The curving ribbon elevation anodised in gold, silver and bronze represents sporting success, and provides an ever-changing visual appearance which echoes the dynamic nature of the track inside.

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Source: Image by Martine Hamilton Knight

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing a Velodrome for Budapest?

The velodrome is one of the most iconic, engaging and complex sporting arenas of our time. However, they have traditionally been inward facing with low user throughputs, restricting their commercial viability in the long term. The Holy Grail of velodrome design is to capture the dynamic nature of the typology in a sustainable, user-friendly way. To do this, it is important to consider an internal arrangement that accommodates a more holistic sport and leisure offer, without the need for a complex maze of ramps and tunnels to circumvent track cycling activities.

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns

Source: Image by Martine Hamilton Knight

Derby Arena by FaulknerBrowns