The proposal for the Vigorelli velodrome aims at being visionary and pragmatic at once: pragmatic in doing the most with the existing structure and the limited budget available, visionary in explicitly developing a project that can help to shape the regeneration of the Vecchia Fiera area. We link this to the general ambition of the city of Milan to become a ‘city of bikes’, by rethinking Vigorelli as an urban park: a Stadium Park.
We have looked for sharp and clearly defined design choices that allow matching this potential with pragmatic, contextual parameters: the inherited infrastructure, the financial framework and the future management of the premises. Our calculations prove that the budget is sufficient to reconvert the existing infrastructure into a public amenity of unexpected scope.
Architecturally speaking, the proposal complements the vast, silent void inside the Vigorelli with an urban galleria on the outside. The mono-functional cycle track is removed and the central field is made accessible and levelled with the street to make a continuous public ground. The spectator stands are made directly accessible from the central field to become one single public space. The roof is renovated and extended towards the outside. This is where the vision of the project crystallizes: instead of investing in a new velodrome track, we propose to invest this money in a new roof anchoring the building in the urban fabric and offering an intimate urban space for all citizens to use.
Together these transformations turn the velodrome structure into a Stadium Park. Both simple in set-up and full of possibilities in use, the new structure has the scale and size to become a public attractor adding up to the changing metropolitan landscape and the future lifestyles of Milan.