The Queensland government has officially opened a new velodrome designed by Cox Architecture at the Gleeman Sports Complex in Chandler, south-east of Brisbane CBD. The facility has been named the Anna Meares Velodrome in honour of the retired Australian cycling champion.
The new velodrome is the first indoor track in Queensland. It is sited among a eucalyptus forest, against the side of a knoll to the west and adjacent to an existing BMX track to the east. “We arranged the building so that we would create a public plaza between the velodrome and the BMX track that would serve both facilities,” said Richard Coulson, Director, Cox Architecture.
The velodrome features a 250-metre timber track which caters to all types of indoor cycling races. It accommodates 1,500 permanent seats, which will expand to 4,000 seats during the Commonwealth Games. A multi-purpose indoor sports court occupies the centre of the track.
The sweeping, undulating roof form, which is inspired by the dynamics of cycling, is a defining feature of the velodrome’s design. Coulson described the design of the roof as ‘Pringle-shaped’ and the form follows the velodrome’s seating requirement.
“It lifts up towards the straights of the track where the greatest number of seating is and it pulls down at the bends where there is less seating,” he explained.
The velodrome is made from a steel structure with a Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTSE) membrane cladding, which is both translucent and opaque to allow natural light into the building. The combination of steel and membrane creates a continuous tessellated pattern on the surface of the building.
The white membrane cladding also allows for projections to be cast onto the facade during game time. At night, external lights cast a silhouette of the trees onto the facade.
The new $59-million facility is one of 17 new and refurbished venues proposed for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, which will also include a new Queensland State Netball Centre at Nathan designed by BVN.