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A Park Becomes A Building

by Dylan Woock — Finalist


The Hellyer Velodrome, a cycling facility for recreational use and elite training alike, must serve as an important public node along the Coyote Creek Trail. Located in a subtropical climate zone, the San Jose area receives an annual average of 15 inches of rain and has an average temperature of 60.5 degrees. To respond to the challenges of accommodating the climatic/environmental needs with the programmatic cycling needs, the building looks to Hellyer Park as an informer of space. As a result the building functions like a park utilizing passive performance, green spaces, covered walks and wide shaded plazas, peeling up or sloping down depending on programatic needs.

To address these needs, the mass of the building is oriented to the cardinal directions; to the South, utilizing sun exposure and opening up to the Coyote Creek Trail as gently sloping canyon walls; to the North, the grandstands sit cave-like around the bend of the track utilizing thermal mass and shade. Beneath the park roof, ample circulation space, for bicycles and foot traffic, further blurs the line between building and landscape. Open verandas, and plazas offer differing accommodations for a range of uses at varying speeds and density levels. For landscape planning the building looks to natural systems for guidance, using trees for shading, native plantings for water collection, habitat creation, and land-form shaping.

To utilize the existing infrastructure the building folds around the track, serving both track cycling use and recreational cycling use. Maintaining the existing infrastructure is an important aspect of creating a spatial harmony across all ranges of use. Programmatic elements are placed for maximum exposure and usage optimization, sharing or dividing space when necessary. Wide paths of circulation are formatted around the bicycle, leaving ample space for dismounting, riding, or walking. The overall spacial organization of the building functions around the needs of the Velodrome and Coyote Creek Trail in order to provide a facility for a spectrum of cycling uses.

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