Velodrome in Rome

The Velodrome in Rome has been built in the Southern quarter "EUR" for the Olympic Games in 1960. For its time it was an architectural masterpiece, nicely integrating with the area (at the time it was in the middle of nowhere as is clearly visible in the image below, but it fitted with the overall architectural mood of EUR).

In the good old days.


Soon after the games the first stability problems appeared. Water drained away the foundations on the south-eastern side towards Viale della Tecnica (I've had my office just on the other side of the street, and the entire building was leaning towards the street - a symptom of the same problem).


A rescue attempt was made in the mid-sixties by injecting concrete into the foundation, and it successfully stopped the movement.


A couple of years later all of a sudden the structure began to incline again - the water had made its return, and was still gnawing away at the foundation.


Thus it was decided that further investements were not worth it.


The last official race in the Velodrome took place in 1968, when the Cycling World Championships were held in Rome. Subsequently the Velodrome was used for another couple of years as a training ground for both cycling and field hockey.


At the beginning of the seventies it was shut down, and completely forgotten. Homeless people used it as a shelter, and nature began to take over again.


In 2006 I decided to take a look around the Velodrome, and I was fascinated by it's beauty: it is a rare example of nature being allowed to freely go about it's business in a man-made structure in what now is a densly populated area.


To better appreciate the transformation I've imposed the new pictures on a photograph of 1960. Click on the arrows to show/hide the recent photos (the orange arrows are panoramic views):






All the photos are available here, except for the historical one which can be found here.


In the meantime it has been decided that the Velodrome should finally go and be substituted - can you guess it? - by a supermarket. Thus it has been blown up on July 24th, 2008. La Repubblica has some photos of the day before the explosion, and videos of the bang are available here and here.


If you've read this far, please consider leaving feedback below.

I never knew about this place until it was too lat...

I never knew about this place until it was too late to see it for myself
I got interested because (from the outside) it appears several times in Antonioni's amazing film L'Eclisse
Monica Vitti and Alain Delon meet (and then, famously, fail to meet) across the street from the stadium at the corner of Tecnico and Ciclismo, outside a building then being built (absent from your aerial shot of 1960)

I visited the site last week and found the stadium gone

your pictures are very beautiful and sad. thanks for them

Was here several times as a child, inclusive of th...

Was here several times as a child, inclusive of the Olympics. Remember it well and it was beautiful. Its size was notable and at the time in a more open part of town. A number of renowned individuals were here - obviously and records were set. I hate to see places fall into disrepair and become relics. The velodrome in Montreal, one of the most extraordinary, along with, of course, Vigorelli - both of which I've been to numerous times, especially Milano are gone. Perhaps track racing is as yesterday as many enthusiasts cynically and understandably claim.