Velodrome Notebooks

Expedition Engineering


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Expedition are one of the most talented and inspiring engineering and architectural practices in the UK. The brilliant Velodrome in the 2012 Olympic Park in London is close to being completed and they came to

TM with the objective of creating a piece that showcased the inspirational thinking behind the project. The result… A bright series of sketchbooks which encourage seasonal thinking.

The diagram on each of the four covers is adapted from a structural analysis model of the Velodrome roof. The roof is formed of a grid of cables, known as a cable net. The colour differs as the tension force varies. Many aspects cause the force in the cables to change which spurred the discussed with Expedition on the possibility of breaking down the effects into seasonal categories. We used the analysis model to produce four diagrams which suggested the effects of weather on the roof such as wind, snow and temperature.

The four sketchbooks were printed in five spot colours to enhance the relationship between the diagrams and the seasons. By exposing the coloured stitch thread of the books we emphasised the actual engineering of each sketchbook.

The London Olympic Velodrome is one of the most sustainable and iconic venues developed of the London 2012 Games – a landmark venue for indoor cycling events structurally engineered by Expedition. With sustainable design at its core, the Velodrome has an efficient and elegantly engineered design borne out of efficient form, lightweighting of structure and appropriate material selection. The building has a striking shape due to the highly efficient doubly-curved tension net cable roof.

The diagrams featured across the collection of covers are taken from a structural analysis model of the roof. The roof is formed of a grid of cables working in tension to span 120m. The colours differ as the tension forces in the cables vary. The weather is one element that causes the force in the cables to change – the solution was to insert typical seasonal characteristics into the GSA model to output accurate diagrams relating to the buildings performance. The result; notebooks for any season or mood.

The exposed bound edge revealed the binding engineering of the books. This technique also allowed the notebooks to be opened flat to aid sketching and note taking.