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VeloCity, Sydney


The University of Sydney Urban Architecture Research Studio (Micro-Infrastructures) 2010.


Velocity is a one way ramp with foliage plants grown for commercial sale. It functions as a recreational fitness arena and acts as a 'Sustainable gateway' into the city when travelling across the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


The two spirals ramps total approximately 1200m in length. The two spirals reflect the various conditions of cycling – speeding up and slowing down (bothuphill and downhill gradients vary), observing the surrounding landscape (2x continuous loops and no planting at the highest loop for unobstructed aspect) and overcoming a challenging uphill climb in stages (3x off ramps).

As the cyclists descend the spiral into the social and educational space at ground level, they enter the ‘oasis’. Bike repair facilities, 100 bike storage, WC/showers, a health food cafe/bar, and a plant shop will be provided. An installation forming natural and virtual forest environments will be achieved using planting and projections onto walls, floors and ceiling surfaces.

Rainwater and night condensation on the steel structure is harvested using the box gutter running along the ramp and stored in the water tank above the cafe. Electricity will be generated using solar panels on the northern faces of the concrete columns. At night the structure can be lit up with LED lights to assist with growing the plants and to attract the attention of passing vehicular passengers. Hydroponic foliage plants are shade loving and grow at various speeds. Sun studies have resulted in the development of the metal mesh veil to protect against direct sunlight. The faster growing plants will be closer to ground level, and harvesting will be systematic, utilising a harvesting cart that moves along the ramps.

It is the intended that Velocity will make a visible statement of the following:
1) The application of urban agriculture.
2) Alternate means of generating and storing energy and water.
3) Alternate means of transportation for commuting in cities.
4) An overall focus on improving the sense of community, public/personal health and new forms of recreation.


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