Well, this doesn’t happen very often: The velodrome for the 2012 summer Olympics has just been finished and the gorgeous facility came in on schedule and without going over budget. The track is built from 35 miles of sustainably harvested Siberian pine, which grows particularly straight and was set into place with 360,000 nails by 26 carpenters over eight weeks.
The 6,000-seat venue has features cribbed from the world’s best velodromes, plus some that are entirely new. Windows let in natural light, a rarity. The banks are standard 42 degrees, but the finish has been moved 15 feet down the track, so there’s more flat distance for the final sprints. And after hearing how nervous competitors during the last summer Olympics in China were emptying their bladders in bushes in the center of the drome, London’s architects added a bathroom right next to the ramp where racers enter the track.
After the Olympics, the velodrome will be joined by a road circuit, mountain bike track, and BMX course to comprise VeloPark. Check out the flyby video to see the whole layout.