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Emirates Arena officially opens

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October 5 2012

Emirates Arena officially opens
The Emirates Arena, setpiece of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is to open to the public tomorrow.

Incorporating the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and a separate arena under one roof the venue also incorporates a community sports hall, offices, function suite, café, four external 5-a-side pitches, car parking and external 1km cycle track.

A 34mx80m connecting building links these two arenas which includes offices for the National Sports Federations.

Designed by velodrome expert Ralph Schürmann and 3DReid Architects the arena is reputedly the fastest In the world with Craig Burn, chief executive of Scottish Cycling, saying: "The track has very much been designed with speed in mind so I’m fairly confident there will be a number of records set in this velodrome.  It will be a very fast track, arguably the best track in the world."

Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow City Council said: “The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome puts Glasgow in an elite list of cities capable of hosting world-class cycling events. It will help inspire the next generation of Scottish cyclists who look to the success of our greatest ever Olympian, Sir Chris Hoy. But importantly, as well as hosting international events, the velodrome will be open for community use and local people will be among the first to use it.”

Members of the public will be free to make use of the facilities from tomorrow
Members of the public will be free to make use of the facilities from tomorrow
The velodrome will be available for use by complete novices as well as Olympic gold medal winners
The velodrome will be available for use by complete novices as well as Olympic gold medal winners

26 Comments

FaustoMcCoppi
#1 Posted by FaustoMcCoppi on 5 Oct 2012 at 13:15 PM
Oh dear. As a cycling mad architect, this building makes my heart sink.
Cycle racing, like good architecture, demands finesse and style complimented by the benefits of refined technology. This building represents none of these attributes....
Neil
#2 Posted by Neil on 5 Oct 2012 at 13:44 PM
Agreed. It would be difficult to design an uglier building.
Campagnola Gay
#3 Posted by Campagnola Gay on 5 Oct 2012 at 14:15 PM
It's a brutish, cheap shed for cycling - initial design by Sports Concepts - for half the price of London's Pringle velodrome.
They haven't even finished off the cycle track - it's all rough.
Chris
#4 Posted by Chris on 5 Oct 2012 at 18:14 PM
What utter rubbish you guys talk. You obviously have no concept of what it takes to deliver a major sports project on a budget. Having been round the project myself I can tell you that this is a world class venue that will leave a lasting legacy for our nation for years to come.

Sometimes i think the posters on here are like the fat football fan that stands on the sidelines shouting abuse at professionals.
D to the R
#5 Posted by D to the R on 5 Oct 2012 at 20:43 PM
Agreed ... this is really poor - but on the plus side I hear profits are up at Kingspan !
D to the R
#6 Posted by D to the R on 5 Oct 2012 at 20:48 PM
@Chris ... it might be a world class venue inside ... but it is a poor effort at a considered architectural piece ... Go and look at sports architecture on the continent ... Legacy? - Yes .... Architectural Execution? ..... hmmmm. ps You write like a contractor ... or a PM !?
Chris
#7 Posted by Chris on 6 Oct 2012 at 15:01 PM
@D to the R .......or someone with a grasp on reality.
Neil
#8 Posted by Neil on 6 Oct 2012 at 15:35 PM
I'm assuming you're from the council Chris, which would explain the " world class / legacy for our nation" hyperbole. It's a good facility and credit to the city but as a design, it's anything but world class, in fact it's a brute. Take the distorting glass from your eye.
Chris
#9 Posted by Chris on 7 Oct 2012 at 12:35 PM
No I don't work for the council or any of its arms length companies. I'm assuming you work for an architectural practice hat has never delivered a major sports venue
Neil
#10 Posted by Neil on 7 Oct 2012 at 16:15 PM
Sadly delivery just is not enough. For a project to claim to be world class it has to be much more than just that. It has to have finesse and elegance which without question is missing from this grey, souless clod hopper. As I said earlier, it's a good facillty but I can see though there's no point in discussing this further with you.
Big Chantelle
#11 Posted by Big Chantelle on 7 Oct 2012 at 19:47 PM
@Neil,

How's this building not world class? What prevents it from being world class in your opinion? What objective criteria exists for determining if something is world class? The building is world class in terms of its hosting abilities -- it meets EVERY international specification required for hosting events world class sporting events. It does its job.It isn't just a local sports facility.In the winter of 2013 it will host the IAAF sanctioned athletics grand prix. It's the only hydraulic indoor athletics facility in the UK I believe and can easily convert the athletics arena into a table tennis, badminton arena etc.

My view: I like the sports complex. I like the aesthetic of the architecture. The clean lines and strong forms work nicely for me.

Neil, judging from your words, you clearly equate 'world class' with the way something looks. But looks are subjective. Some people find the Herzog and De Meuron designed Bird's nest hideous -- does that denigrate its "world class" credentials?

Well done Glasgow -- I think it looks great!
Baxendale [Lee Ivett]
#12 Posted by Baxendale [Lee Ivett] on 7 Oct 2012 at 22:29 PM
Meeting all the required specifications for hosting intentional sporting events is the minimum requirement and standard that this building needs to meet. As well as its responsibility to perform as a sporting arena this building also has a responsibility to the place within which it is located and it is when judged against this criteris that this building fails on every level.

First of all the building has not been fully considered as a part of the current and proposed wider public realm. A real opportunity to connect the existing landmark of Celtic Park with the new athletes village has been lost. In fact the well considered and composed elevation of the athletes village along springfield road has been diminished by having to face onto the back end of the new building. Its raised topography, physical height and monotonous grey cladding create a truly depressing vista for any new residents in the commonwealth village.

The routes on the approach to the building have been compromised by the positioning of the building with the feature corner addressing the Celtic Club Shop rather than a key point of interchange. It would also now appear that a retail park will be placed at the adjacent crossroads further diminishing any sense of place on the approach from the east and north.

Unless you arrive by car and need to use the vast and poorly landscaped car park to the south of the building the public entrance to the building is difficult to find as a pedestrian user.

In summary the building fails as a piece of place making, it fails as an opportunity to enhance the wider public realm, it fails to connect visually, physically and straegically with Celtic Park and the Athletes Village, it fails to employ and sense of subtlety and craft as an application of architecture, it creates no greater sense of experience for the user than that which is available in most school gym halls or council leisure centres and most disappointingly strikes me as another fabulous opportunity that has been lost
Neil
#13 Posted by Neil on 7 Oct 2012 at 22:54 PM
For a project to claim to be world class it must have true ambition. It must transcend the functional, it must be crafted beyond the mundane. It must be aesthetically considered, it should be beautiful, it should be influential. Doing its job is not enough. That is a minimum requirement, as Lee has said. This is a box, brutal, blunt, brusque, unappealing, grey. Absolutely an opportunity lost .
Big Chantelle
#14 Posted by Big Chantelle on 8 Oct 2012 at 12:51 PM
@Neil said "For a project to claim to be world class it must have true ambition"

> Em, every project has an ambition. This one included. Obviously, the nature of the project changes the nature of the ambition. But to imply this project doesn't have "true ambition" is silly in my opinion.You might think the architecture is mundane but that's your opinion. I quite like the architecture.

Further, when you say "It must be aesthetically considered, it should be beautiful, it should be influential." > this project is aesthetically considered. Fact. You might not like its aesthetics, but there is no absolute authority and truth on what constitutes absolute aesthetic perfection. I like the look of this building. You don't. Both of our views are valid.

Big Chantelle
#15 Posted by Big Chantelle on 8 Oct 2012 at 13:07 PM
@Baxendale [Lee Ivett]

I disagree with much of what you say and think.

You said: "As well as its responsibility to perform as a sporting arena this building also has a responsibility to the place within which it is located and it is when judged against this criteris that this building fails on every level. "

>Em, what criteria? What levels does it fail on? You haven't qualified why if fails merely that it does.

You also said "In fact the well considered and composed elevation of the athletes village along springfield road has been diminished by having to face onto the back end of the new building. Its raised topography, physical height and monotonous grey cladding create a truly depressing vista for any new residents in the commonwealth village."

> That's your opinion. Who are you to say it is depressing for other people? Have you clinically proven by way of quantifiable scientific investigation that this building's side elevation is depressing to the the residents of the home's on Springfield road who em, aren't actually living there yet and whom you haven't asked their opinions on? Basically what you're saying is that YOU dislike it so it must be crap for others too. Hence, the building is a failure based on your subjective views of it.What if the future residents of Springfield road LOVE the architecture -- how will you reconcile you claim that this building is a failure?

You also said "it fails to employ and sense of subtlety and craft as an application of architecture, it creates no greater sense of experience for the user than that which is available in most school gym halls or council leisure centres "

Why must a building have subtlety of craft? If something is not subtle, does that make is 'bad'? Do you have objective, scientific data for this claim? And what's unsubtle about this building anyway? Your claim that this facility is not greater than a school gym is just pure ignorance imo. What school facilities exist in Glasgow, Scotland or the UK like this? I'd love to see them.

Facts are that architecture by its very nature divides opinions. Even so called great architecture is not universally loved. Many in the Urban realm comments section seem to think their opinion constitutes fact and merely saying it, without any facts to back it up, makes it somehow right.
boaby wan
#16 Posted by boaby wan on 8 Oct 2012 at 13:10 PM
"You might think the architecture is mundane but that's your opinion. I quite like the architecture."
This is building, to say it's architecture is a bit much.... it has commodity, but where's the firmness and delight?!
Neil
#17 Posted by Neil on 8 Oct 2012 at 13:48 PM
Quite liking it is not enough, frankly. You have to recognise that it is exceptional. You mast start out with the absolute ambition to make it so.It's not a subjective opinion, it's entirely objective, you can dislike the design and the architectural intent but appreciate that it has been put togther with skill and is considered and crafted. It's not about aesthetics either. This is a brute, that's the sad truth of it. I wish it were not so, really I do.
Tiger Tim
#18 Posted by Tiger Tim on 8 Oct 2012 at 14:18 PM
Having seen this building's English contemporary at the Olympic Park, I think it would be fair to say it has a face only a mother could love. We lost. Again.
Campagnola Gay
#19 Posted by Campagnola Gay on 8 Oct 2012 at 15:12 PM
Easy Tiger! It's not apples v apples - not even Pringles v other addictive saturated fatty snacks - Hopkins velodrome cost the same as the NISA+SCHV incl office space, gym and spa.
Also, where does this building claim to be world class - I must have missed that...
We lost before the architects got involved.
George Bowie
#20 Posted by George Bowie on 8 Oct 2012 at 15:13 PM
In fairness Timmy the English facility cost twice as much and is only half the facility that the Glasgow project is. OK it looks pretty but isn't nearly as good.
Art Vandelay
#21 Posted by Art Vandelay on 8 Oct 2012 at 16:14 PM
The worst thing about this site is when people trot out the tired 'you've not built a building like this, so you don't know what it's like/can't possibly comment' - it's playground level debate.

Back on topic, it's a muckle beast isn't it? I think unfortunately when we get buildings of the size and scale of this, it's difficult (although not impossible) to integrate it into it's surroundings, especially when this one has more or less landed from space - considering the amount of open ground around it previously. I've no doubt that it fulfils its brief admirably, and will work very well for its intended purpose. That said, there doesn't seem to be any spark, any inspiration to this that will make it something that we could be proud of in years to come. Debates about aesthetics or whatever else aside, I can't see how this will 'age' into part of Glasgow's (Scotland's?) fabric - it's just too insensitive.
Tiger Timmy
#22 Posted by Tiger Timmy on 8 Oct 2012 at 16:51 PM
When did we give up on world class ambitions?Look at the commie pool in Edinburgh: built for the same event and an outstanding piece of world class architecture.
ooctopus
#23 Posted by ooctopus on 8 Oct 2012 at 16:51 PM
I have a 1989 Lada Riva, it has air conditioning, a stereo, heated seats, in fact everything that your well designed and well built BMW has and I effing love it. Is everyone entitled to their opinion? No, and that's a clinically proven scientific fact.
Neil
#24 Posted by Neil on 8 Oct 2012 at 19:50 PM
Aaahhh .........a classic 89 Riva. #19 world class? watch the video, clearly if you say it often enough it must be so.
Anybody with eyes
#25 Posted by Anybody with eyes on 10 Oct 2012 at 13:07 PM
Whilst understanding sport sheds can do little to be contextual this building does nothing for the surrounding urban fabric (apart from supply car-parking) or the East End of Glasgow in general. The spaces around are as vast, barren, formal and useless as those at the Olympiastadion in Berlin but with none of the drama. "First life, then spaces, then buildings - the other way around never works."
Wee JT
#26 Posted by Wee JT on 25 Oct 2012 at 13:14 PM
@ Big Chantelle

Buildings are not just an entity on their own. Considering the ethos of Placemaking how can you look at one building and assume that it is fine, the bigger picture has to be looked at. The surrounding public realm and linkages to the surrounding environ are as important as the buildings.
Would the building be acceptable on a hill in the greenbelt. No, if planning permission allowed, the public would cry out for a more sympathetic building for it surroundings. Can't just stick a building anywhere and expect it work, it must fit in.

Anyway I am waiting for the whole project to complete, see it all for what it really is. Maybe it will all work out in the end!

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