Bates Smart's take on The Club Stand

News broke yesterday of Victoria Racing Club's new premium 18,000 square metre members stand to be situated on the site of what is now the Members' Old Grandstand.

Dubbed The Club Stand, the facility is expected to be operational by November 2017 and further boost VRC's member count beyond the current 30,000.  Whilst VRC has done a mighty job promoting the new venue, we thought we'd highlight architect Bates Smart's take on The Club stand.

"In contrast to traditional sports stadia, the Club Stand presents itself in the round.  In doing so it captures the spirit of the promenading which enhances enjoyment of a day at the races.  The sweeping curvilinear forms promote this unique movement and energy.

The design acknowledges site context in which the theatre of horse racing is played out on all sides - mounting yard, track and members’ lawn to the south; parade ring and day stalls to the east; betting ring to the north; existing grandstands and winning post to the west. 

The spaces inside the building are to be imbued with a sense of history without feeling beholden to it - featuring elements of the past, but interpreted with clean and sophisticated lines in a modern style, using warm materials. The story of Flemington Racecourse and the VRC is to be woven into the fabric of the building through material, pattern, pictorial and artefact reference and displays.

The Club Stand is designed to build on the existing heritage at Flemington, and in turn to be an iconic part of the heritage of Flemington’s future."

Whilst the existing stand is heritage listed, the VRC is confident that the new facility will proceed.  Should it do so, owing to its shape "The five-level Club Stand offers sweeping 360-degree views of the Mounting Yard, race track and Members’ Lawn to the south; Parade Ring and raceday horse stalls to the east; Betting Ring to the north; and existing grandstands and Winning Post to the west."  Let's not neglect the CBD, Dandenongs and Bay views as well.

Given the VRC sold near on 3 hectares of unused land fronting Epsom Road to Chinese developer Greenland Group in order to part finance the new Club Stand, one wonders whether the image below will be framed by residential towers in the not too distant future?

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