Velocity Magazine was treated to a rare night at the races last night, courtesy of the good people at engineer Symmetrys.
This was the Six Day Series, a thrilling festival of track cycling held internationally in touring venues, this week at London’s Velodrome, with a DJ, loud music and a party atmosphere (and hot dogs). Speeds of up to 75km/hour were recorded, and events ranged from short sprints and pursuits to the Madison, and V’s personal favourite the Derny (where impassive moped riders lead the bikes). A fine time was had by all, while on the track highlights included the truly scary "thunder thighs" of some of the sprinters (especially the 15 stone German world champion Robert "Quadzilla" Forstemann, whose thighs are 73cm in circumference), who sped round a lap of the track in just over 10 seconds.
Chris Atkins of Symmetrys – a Velocity partner whose projects include a Sikh temple in Barking (pictured below) – invited along Tim Bell of architect Bell Phillips as well as David Appleton of Appleton Weiner, while V also met Sarah Jenkinson, fresh from her south American travels - through Mexico, Colombia and Ecuador by bike, who was in the arena with Enfield Council’s Sarah Carey, another keen cyclist and Club Peloton stalwart.
The Symmetrys-engineered temple sits on a brownfield, contaminated site and includes a basement car park with three storeys above ground. The building will house two worship spaces known as Diwans, a religious dining area, or Langar, along with educational and day-care facilities. Lastly, a Sach Khand, a landmark tower housing the scriptures, will form the centre of the elevation.
The main structural challenges, Symmetrys said, will be achieving the clear spans of 25m across the dining and worship spaces, with two storey high roof lights, bringing light down through the building. Modern structures will be concealed but used to facilitate the traditional Sikh Temple architecture throughout, within a tight £8 million budget.