12-11-2004

Dominique Perrault
Berlin Velodrome

Dominique Perrault,

Berlin, Germany,

Sport & Wellness,

The Berlin Velodrome, located at the intersection of the city's most important streets, is now a multifunctional facility, though it was intended as a sports centre for city's bid for the 2000 Olympics, held in Sydney.



Dominique Perrault<br> Berlin Velodrome The complex was built with eight thousand tons of steel, about half of which was used for the roof of the velodrome alone.
The velodrome roof is 4 metres high and made up of a grid of trusses with a diameter of 142 metres. Inside it are technical services and a series of walkways required for maintenance. The entire structure is supported by 16 reinforced concrete pillars.
The sports complex was built in the Prenzlauer Berg area, a little hill raised above the level of the city, in order to avoid the water table, which is quite high in Berlin (2.5 metres below ground level). But a further raising, up to a height of 5 metres, was required in order to permit the whole complex to be built underground. The average depth of the excavations was 13 metres, and so the round surface emerging one metre above ground level is 13 metres above the base of the hall.
This shining "disk" lets daylight in from the side and is the most unusual, characteristic aspect of the entire complex.
Laura Della Badia

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