The most recent episode of the Plus Maths podcast describes how the London Velodrome was designed. Being a math podcast, it focuses on the optimization problems involved in the design and the finite element modeling of the structure.
The beautiful shape of the building was not an initial goal but rather a consequence of design decisions that began with the track and worked outward.
It’s perhaps surprising, given the pragmatic design concerns of optimizing the experience of people using the velodrome, maximizing the efficiency of the building, all within the constraints of the construction methods, the design process has led to a stunningly beautiful roof that almost echos the shape of the track.
… it’s a happy by-product of the design. There was nothing intentional in the design [of the roof] that we wanted it to look like the track. … it’s the opposite if the track …
Image by Richard Davies via the Plus Math article How the velodrome found its form.
Related post: Mathematics behind the Olympic water cube