The Club Stand

Bates Smart

 

Flemington Racecourse is home to Australia’s most renowned week of horse racing, the Melbourne Cup Carnival. Recently completed for the Victoria Racing Club (VRC), the new Club Stand, provides a unique raceday experience, premium hospitality offerings and greatly enhanced visibility for members. Drawing inspiration from the shape of the racetrack, raceday fashion and Flemington’s iconic rose gardens, the highly-sculptural and curvilinear building occupies nearly the same footprint as the former Members’ Old Grandstand, but with an increase in capacity. The Club Stand is positioned near the main entry and is first in a succession of stands at Flemington Racecourse, yet some distance from the finishing line, but surrounded by activity including the Mounting Yard, Pre-Parade Ring and Members Lawn. Creating transparency throughout the building was essential in order to capitalise on the all-encompassing action of the races. The building’s rounded design acknowledges this context and the sweeping curvilinear and sculptural form allows for a panoramic experience where members are able to watch the theatre of horse racing on all sides. The five-level stand differentiates itself from other horse racing grandstands, both within Australia and internationally, via the impressive tiered cantilevers which evoke flower petals, provide sunshade and protection for the tiered seating, and also impart a strong sculptural presence. Celebrating the lineage of The Club Stand was of vital importance, and the design is imbued with sophisticated references to the history of the racecourse and the VRC, while at the same time championing its evolution and future.

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