The Dunc Gray velodrome encloses the 250 m timber cycling track with seating for 3000 spectators with room to accommodate 3000 more. With spans of 110 m width and 150 m length, it has the biggest single span fully covered roof in Australia. Without any intermediate supports, the roof weighs in at just 40kg/m² and makes it one of the most efficient large span structures anywhere in the world. Architects Paul Ryder and SPJH have taken a bubble and stretched it into a ground-hugging shell that appears almost as a flattened bicycle helmet.
An encircling band of glazing provides the project’s tour de force. Pilkington glass has been provided for laminating and toughening for the purpose and the result helps generate a calm, tranquil space, impossible in most artificially lit environments.
Given the agenda of a Green Games, Pilkington glazing was critical to achieving vast savings in energy consumption over the longer term. The architects’ decision to provide abundant ambient light, in turn balanced by the aerofoil blade deflectors suspended from the central catenary truss, is a coup for spectators and competitors alike.
The velodrome system diffuses sunlight through the large roof skylight to the interior during daylight hours. The ventilation and daylight system is controlled by the velodrome environment and system management computer via arrays of actuator driven louvres mounted within the roof below the ceiling and around the base of the building.
This system maintains optimal comfort levels within the velodrome after measuring external effects such as luminance, wind pressure and direction as well as temperature.
Pilkington glazing partners this design innovation to allow visual projection into and out of the structure in a manner unprecedented in the world of velodrome racing.
The Dunc Gray Velodrome won RAIA National Award for Sustainable Architecture 2001.