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Rules on lux levels may mean Velodrome blackout

Rules on lux levels mean that visitors to Hopkins’ Stirling-shortlisted Velodrome will not be able to marvel at the clever natural lighting

Sources on our sister title, the Architects’ Journal, reveal that the power of broadcasting and International Olympic Committee rules on lux levels mean that visitors to Hopkins’ Stirling-shortlisted velodrome will not be able to marvel at the clever natural lighting during the staging of the London Olympics.

That’s because the Olympic Broadcasting Service (OBS) has reportedly insisted that blackout blinds cover all glazing during the broadcasting of Olympic cycling events.

Insiders on the project say that this is to do with OBS concerns about the difficulties cameras have in adjusting to different lighting conditions. However LOCOG (the organising committee for the Games) and Hopkins Architects are said to be trying to persuade them that this ought not to be a problem, as the daylight at the venue is so diffuse.

Hopkins said it knew a blackout was a possibility from the start and it was agreed that they would design the venue for the legacy condition rather than the Olympic requirement (which only lasts for two weeks). However, specialists are bemused by the decision to tamper with such a good design.

Daylight expert Dr Axel Jacobs, from Hoare Lea said, “It seems a shame to cover up a naturally lit building. Natural light would have contributed towards a great, inspiring atmosphere for athletes and spectators alike.”

Read our article on the Olympic velodrome project here.

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