The National Velodrome in Saint-Quentin
The National Velodrome in Saint-QuentinA top-quality arena for sport and music
The National Velodrome at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines is the home of France’s top-flight track cycling, but it was conceived as a multi-purpose amenity. Designed at the time of Paris’s bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, it will now enjoy Olympic glory during the 2024 Games. It was built by Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France.
France’s National Velodrome is a very high-quality facility. It primarily accommodates the elite of French cycling, but it is also accessible for amateur cycling enthusiasts, who can rent equipment there and benefit from professional coaching. It is set up as a venue for major international competitions. The showpiece of the velodrome is the track, which was designed with record-breaking performance in mind. Its proportions are unique: it is the biggest in the world, at 250 metres long and 8 metres wide and with 8-metre bends. The facility will at last be able to fulfil its Olympic ambitions in 2024, when it plays host to the track cycling events.
Made of Siberian pine, the velodrome track requires meticulous upkeep. Bouygues Energies & Services, which holds a 27-year maintenance contract, is responsible for ensuring that it conserves the features that are responsible for its performance. Every morning, the temperature and humidity of the hall are verified. Before and after each event, the team checks that the wedges between the flooring and the retaining beams that support the track are correctly adjusted – they can shift as the wood dries and the track vibrates. If a cyclist falls during a competition, the splintered wood is immediately sanded before damaged boards can be repaired or replaced.
The velodrome project, which was promoted by the metropolitan community of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, has a threefold ambition: the facility had to be an international-class velodrome, an amenity that would be accessible and useful for local residents, and a source of profit for the taxpayer and for the territory. Listening to its customer’s requests and concerns, Bouygues Construction tailored its proposals for construction and operation, taking account of all potential uses of the complex and the operational challenges they raised. The consulting engineers and works teams collaborated on devising detailed scenarios that put each installation to the test. A public-private partnership contract was chosen to ensure a balance between public service and local economic development; it was awarded to the Vélopolis consortium.
Around the Velodrome, a mixed-use, multi-generational neighbourhood open to nature has grown up. Diversity is the dominant concept in this new community, developed by Bouygues Bâtiment Ile-de-France and its subsidiary, Linkcity. With 7,000 m² of new offices and a 180-room hotel complex, the new Velodrome district will contribute to the vitality of the second-largest economic basin in the western suburbs of Paris. The site also incorporates four halls of residence (with 810 bedrooms) not only for students, but also young professionals and researchers from nearby universities and laboratories.