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metaform - ARCHITECTS


Revolutions under one roof - Mondorf-les-Bains

# Award Winner

Metaform’s winning entry for Luxembourg’s first and only velodrome – a collaboration with Dutch-based Mecanoo architects – is an elegant proposal that radically rethinks the arena typology. It is part of a regeneration programme of more than 26 hectares that aims to make the region a leading destination for sport and recreation.

The velodrome is located at the eastern edge of Mondof-Les-Bains in the south of the country, famed for its thermal baths and pristine countryside. It features a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) approved track that is 250m long, has slopes of up to 42 degrees and is made entirely of wood. This enables the facility to accommodate a number of national and international competitive indoor cycling disciplines.

Conceal and reveal

The building is characterised by a large undulating sloped green roof (8,500m²) that merges seamlessly into the surrounding hills. This creates a discreet vegetated plinth for the velodrome to punctuate. Its sculptured timber form is the only visible part of the project and acts as a beacon in the landscape. It appears as a floating volume above a small hill that can be seen from the neighbouring A13 motorway. A transparent glazed-band separates its mass from the roof while a composition of warm neutral tones in concrete and wood elevates its prominence against the countryside.

The project is the largest covered building in the country with a roof structure that spans 80 metres by 115 metres. It conceals facilities that are partially buried into the terrain and can accommodate 4000 occupants. This includes an aquatic centre, multisport hall, tennis courts, climbing wall and the offices of the Luxembourg Cycling Federation (FSCL).

The building has been cleverly constructed on one level. This allows visitors to access all three floors from several ground-level entrances. Each access is revealed beneath the cascading folds of the green roof, which gives the impression of venturing underground.

Elements of the project are submerged in nature not only to reduce its visual impact but also to meet the strict energy requirements set-out by the commune. This approach preserves the rich biotope of the site with native plants and shrubs able to thrive across 15,000m² of open ground vegetation.

The building’s green roof garden is a showcase for ecological design. It improves the indigenous ecosystem and manages rainwater collection, which in turn reduces the size of retention basins. A hundred trees and permeable soils have also been added to further diffuse rainwater runoff.

Future on track

Achieving a circular economy was a priority for the government to reinforce its commitment to sustainable design. Consequently, each aspect of the project was optimised to increase the lifespan of the building and reduce its impact on the environment.

Simple building materials were selected with standard dimensions to facilitate recycling. Their assembly uses mechanical methods rather than glues and chemicals to further aid reuse.

The project also features an independent energy plant that is equipped with air-water heat pumps to produce low-temperature heating for the sports complex and the future European school.

Strategic skylights and glazed facades make the most of natural light while solar energy obtained from 2,500 340-watt photovoltaic panels supply the facility with a proportion of its energy needs.

Within the wider landscape, an extension to local roads and a circuit around the complex provides cycling and walking routes. This enables local residents, visitors, students and employees to enjoy the playgrounds and outdoor areas.

The velodrome is a compact and sustainable facility that not only ensures a gentle integration into the natural environment but also demonstrates the ability to create a sustainable legacy in sporting infrastructure.

Dancing with the light