Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Vigorelli Design Competition Open

The Municipality of Milan announced an international design competition for the re-qualification of the Maspes-Vigorelli Velodrome. The maximum construction expenditure set for the planned intervention (project funding framework, inclusive of all costs) is € 18.000.000,00 (including VAT).

The pre-qualification stage ends no later than 12.00 on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012. A jury will then select ten designers for participation in the Competition stage within 30 days following the deadline for the presentation of applications. The selected particpants wiill then have until no later than 12.00 on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 to submit their designs. The Jury proceedings will be concluded within 30 days of the deadline for submission of documents; the winning entry will be announced within 10 days of the conclusion of the Jury proceedings.

Excerpts from competiton design documentation:
"The objective is to renew and at the same time transform the approximately 80-year-old structure into a modern amenity in compliance with the most recent regulations in order to accommodate the greatest number of sports disciplines and functions associated with the territory. In summary, a venue open to the city year-round that can relate in new and diverse ways with the local area and can host educational-game exhibitions, cultural activities, trade area events, etc., in addition to sport."

"Participants in the International Design Competition are asked to propose solutions to add value to the sports structure that could include re-use of the historical wooden cycling track. In such case, the planners will consider the criticalities related to its maintenance (upgrading to current standards, cost of restoring wooden surface, necessary protection against atmospheric agents)."

"Where the planner proposes to completely remove the historical wooden track, the contender will estimate the possibility of conserving, even partially, a portion of the same (e.g. the parabolic curves) as a memento of the historical importance of the Velodromo."

History of the velodrome as defined in the document:
"The history of the Velodromo Maspes-Vigorelli begins with the growth of interest in cycling at the end of the 19th century. In Milan races round the Bastioni (ramparts) led to the first important road races (Milan-Sanremo, Giro di Lombardia and Giro d’Italia). The first tracks were laid out: the first circuit in hardened cinder at the Trotter was followed by another set up in the Arena in wood. At the turn of the century track racing consolidated its success.

Velodromo del Sempione was built in Via Giovanni di Procida. It was an outdoor track that quickly became famous for the exploits of numerous cyclists. It was demolished some decades later in 1928 because of its age but also because the Palazzo dello Sport, which had been opened in the nearby Fiera in 1923, accommodated an indoor wooden track which could be assembled for cycling.

In 1935 the Municipality of Milan, on the suggestion of the industrialist and city council member Giuseppe Vigorelli, a former cycle-track racer, decided to reconstruct the Velodromo as part of a sports center building program: San Siro stadium (1926), the Milan Lido (1931-36), Cozzi (1933) and Romano (1937) swimming pools.

The Vigorelli became the most important and famous venue for track cycling in Italy. The high-speed configuration of its track made it known internationally: world records were set and championships held there. Moreover, it was often the “Finish” for important road races and also hosted numerous sprint and pursuit contests. Unfortunately, in addition to the track being completely destroyed by fire during the Second World War, an exceptionally heavy snowfall in 1985 led to the roof collapsing onto the wooden track, damaging it severely.

The decline of the velodrome set in after this episode: the track was reconstructed but not the roof. After three years of reduced activity, the Velodrome - also used as a venue for concerts - was closed definitively for cycling. In July 1991, the roof was reconstructed and a new lighting system was installed.

Finally, towards the end of the Nineties, due to company sponsorship of a cycling team, the track was completely restored and the central area of the Velodrome was surfaced with synthetic grass to allow American Football, Five-a-side, and Field Hockey to be played."

From previous Italian Cycling Journal blog entries:
"In 2007 a new, covered, Vigorelli as part of a sports palace concept was proposed to the mayor of Milano. The proposal would re-launch track racing but will also have the capability of hosting other sports such as basketball, tennis, boxing, hockey, and concerts. At a cost of 50 million Euro, and an estimated 3 years to build, the proposal went nowhere."

"In 2009 the specific project plans were unveiled and the next step in the project was to seek financing. The city was committed to funding 12 million Euro of the estimated 50 million Euro project cost; the other 38 million Euro would have come from the private sector. The goal was to inaugurate the new facility in 2012."

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  1. My concern is that a design does have to have a track to be accepted as a submission.