Velodrome Tower

Saleh Alajmi

This tower incorporates a velodrome into its plinth which creates an opportunity to critique the high-rise typology. The velodrome serves a need in a city with a large cycling population but without its own velodrome. In addition, the velodrome acts as a focal point along the busy Market Street contributing to the Planning Department’s initiative “Better Market Street.”

On the street level, a variety of open spaces are offered. The plaza provides a large open space at the intersection of Market St and 8th St to encourage pedestrian activities. The courtyard is a more intimate and human-scaled open space that is created by inserting a void within the footprint of the velodrome.

The San Francisco Planning Department’s goal of encouraging more bike ridership, pedestrian-friendly street scape, and reducing the vehicle presence along Market St is supported by the open spaces on the street level and the velodrome as a new urban node.

Program elements such as Bike Kitchen and Exhibit spaces in the plinth engage the public and activate the open spaces. The velodrome occupies the top surface of the plinth and doubles as an event space. The tower contains mostly office spaces for a renewable energy provider. On the lower levels of the tower, a large interior void acts as a gathering space for the tower occupants as well as an informal spectator space when the velodrome is being used for a race.