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Tue June 15 2021

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Not your average bike shed

20 May 13 Dane Architectural Systems fabricated and installed the curtain walling on the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome

Scottish cycling fans will doubtless have been disappointed last month when Sir Chris Hoy announced his retirement, dashing hopes for one last final hurrah at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year in front of his home crowd.

However, while Sir Chris himself will not now be racing at these Games, one of the star structures will surely be the new velodrome that bears his name.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the adjoining Emirates Arena form what the Games organisers are calling “one of the most versatile and innovative structures of its type in Europe”.

Designed by architect 3DReid and built by Sir Robert McAlpine for Glasgow City Council, this £116m development is Scotland’s first indoor velodrome and one of the largest indoor sports facilities in Europe.

It houses two venues in one – a 5,000- seat indoor arena and a 2,500-seat velodrome – for key 2014 events such as cycling and badminton. The Emirates Arena has a 200m athletics track with hydraulic bends allowing its conversion into a flexible multi- sport venue. The large sports hall can accommodate 12 badminton courts or be subdivided into three separate areas for a range of sports. The velodrome’s 250m track has been designed by Ralph Schuermann, one of the world’s foremost track designers.

Between the twin halls is a connecting circulation space, the ‘hub’, which accommodates ancillary facilities and the headquarters of the national sport federation.

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3DReid specified Wicona aluminium Wictec 50 curtain walling to accommodate large unsupported spans of glass up to 4m long. Special connections for the transoms and mullions were engineered to take the heavier loads for the spans. The system also offered slim sections and consistent profile sizes across the project.

Fabricated and installed by Dane Architectural Systems in a £1m façade contract, the curtain walling was faceted for the velodrome to follow the curve of the building. It was used with curved bull nose caps to add interest to the façade by accentuating the horizontal profiles.

The system spans four storeys on the hub that links the two venues, and 77m-long screens of grid curtain walling were constructed to enclose the arena. Other areas of glazing include the atria roof and the level 2 entrance.

Rolf Basler, architect for the building envelope at 3DReid, said: “The Wictec system could accommodate all the technical complexities of this project in terms of spans, loads and uniformity of appearance for the grid and faceted elements. The system was well fabricated and the project was supported by valuable technical input from the Wicona team.”

The Wicona Wictec curtain walling suite has been used extensively both in the UK and internationally. It has a range of structural aluminium profiles to accommodate vertical, angled, sloped and faceted situations. There are options for additional security, fire protection and bullet resistance without altering the appearance of the façade. The Wictec 50 system uses a 50mm profile, which has an extra-narrow face width, both internally and externally.

Project Team

  • Client: Glasgow City Council
  • Project manager: Davis Langdon
  • Architect: 3D Reid
  • Main contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
  • Façade contractor: Dane Architectural
  • Façade system: Wicona

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