New plans revealed for world-class entertainment venue
The first stages of the Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) interior architectural plans for its outstanding new Club Stand have been unveiled, underlining Flemington’s future as a world-class entertainment and sporting venue.
The release of the highly anticipated designs from celebrated architects, Bates Smart for the Lobby and Lounge, Lawn Bar, Paddock Bar, Courtyard Bar, Betting Ring and the Owners and Trainers Area provide a sensational preview of how the $128 million Club Stand will come to life.
Chief Executive Officer, Simon Love said the VRC has worked alongside the team at Bates Smart to design interiors that will provide experiences unrivalled by any venue in Australia or around the world.
“We are setting a new benchmark with the Club Stand’s design to enhance the raceday experience at Flemington,” said Mr Love. “There is no similar building in the world, which makes this dynamic and exciting development a landmark destination ensuring Flemington and Melbourne remain the global home of sport and entertainment.
“The Club Stand marks the exciting next step in our renewal plans at Flemington and the Victorian Government, Racing Victoria and Tabcorp have supported the project to ensure the racecourse retains its position as a ‘must visit’ world-class sporting, entertainment and tourism venue in Australia,” said Mr Love.
Currently under construction, the state-of-the-art facility has created an estimated 350 full-time equivalent jobs and will be delivered by Multiplex in time for racegoers to enjoy at the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
The Club Stand should secure the ongoing future prosperity of Flemington and ensure the VRC’s considerable contribution to the Australian economy continues to grow. Last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival generated more than $427.1 million in gross economic benefits to Victoria alone, which is unrivalled by any other sporting event in the country.
The new Club Stand forms part of a $135 million project at Flemington Racecourse, reinforcing the VRC’s commitment to continually invest in infrastructure and technology that enhances the raceday experience for Members, event patrons, industry participants and the local community.
Creating an Architectural Landmark
Designed by Bates Smart, the breathtaking curvilinear façade of the Club Stand creates a sense of movement that is synonymous with the excitement of Flemington.
The architectural design of the Club Stand draws inspiration from Flemington’s garden setting, with the shapes and forms offlowers and petals echoed in the building.
Imbued with a sense of history, the heritage of Flemington will be evident throughout the Club Stand’s interiors in sophisticated and subtle ways, reminding Members of the rich tradition and legacy of the Club, while championing its evolution.
The five-level Club Stand offers sweeping 360-degree views; the Mounting Yard, race track and Members’ Lawn to the south; Parade Ring and day stalls to the east; Betting Ring to the north; and, existing grandstands and Winning Post to the west.
Enhancing the Raceday Experience
The sculptural exterior of the Club Stand sets the scene for the elegant interiors beyond. To be built with premium materials, crafted with the finest details and boasting incredible dining experiences, the Club Stand will become an aspirational destination to entertain guests and enjoy the exciting sport of racing.
An incredible variety of hospitality options will be available across five levels, with seven unique casual dining options, three restaurants offering world-class dining experiences and eight diverse bars.
A grand entrance lobby and lounge that celebrates the heritage of Flemington will warmly welcome guests with a central, curved sweeping staircase and clear views to the active scenes on the Members’ Lawn.
The energetic atmosphere on the Members’ Lawn will become even more vibrant with the stylish Lawn Bar where guests can walk-up and order take-away beverages to take to their favourite vantage points.
Guests who frequent the front lawn near the Mounting Yard will be able to head to the informal walk-up Paddock Bar, where there will be a strong nod to Flemington’s racing traditions.
Significant upgrades to the Betting Ring will see undercover access from the Club Stand with weather protection canopies introduced; fresh new food and beverage options, including the casual al fresco Courtyard Bar; and enhanced technology will improve Wi-Fi and audio visuals to ensure racegoers enjoy a connected, comfortable day out no matter the weather.
The two-level Owners & Trainers Area will see industry participants revel in direct access to and from the Mounting Yard and enjoy premium viewing of the action on the track and Melbourne’s growing city skyline. On the ground level, a Racing Press Room will provide industry media with the most contemporary multi-media facility and enhanced access to horse areas.
Over the next few months, the VRC will continue to release more details about its exciting plans for the remaining elements of the Club Stand including the Members’ Lawn, Members’ Bar, Seating Deck, Mounting Yard, Champagne Bar and Rooftop.
– The $128 million state-of-the-art facility is set to revolutionise the raceday experience and will be ready for Members to enjoy at the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival
– Construction has commenced on the new Club Stand, which has created an estimated 350 jobs during the project
– For the first time, architectural plans for the interiors of Lobby and Lounge, Lawn Bar, Paddock Bar, Courtyard Bar, Betting Ring and the Owners and Trainers Area have been unveiled
– The Club Stand will secure Flemington’s future as a world-class entertainment and sporting venue, a landmark that Australians can be proud of
– The Club Stand will ensure Flemington’s contribution to the economy continues to grow; last year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival injected gross economic benefit of more than $427.1 million to the state of Victoria
About the Club Stand
The Club Stand will provide an outstanding facility designed by Bates Smart architects that celebrates the history and character of Flemington. The architectural design of the Club Stand draws inspiration from Flemington’s garden setting, with the shapes andforms of flowers and petals echoed in the building.
The exciting new Club Stand will set a benchmark for racecourse facilities by providing an opportunity to celebrate Flemington’s long and rich traditions and share new experiences with infrastructure unmatched anywhere in the world.
The Club Stand will be the tenth grandstand built at Flemington since 1865, demonstrating the VRC’s commitment to meeting the demands of the next generation of racegoers and ensuring thoroughbred racing has a prosperous future.
Occupying virtually the same footprint as the Members’ Old Grandstand, which it replaces, the Club Stand will provide increased capacity, more diverse venues and facilities to cater to contemporary expectations.
The five-level Club Stand will offer sweeping 360-degree views; the Mounting Yard, race track and Members’ Lawn to the south; Parade Ring and day stalls to the east; Betting Ring to the north; and, existing grandstands and Winning Post to the west.
An external walkway at first floor level will wrap around the entire perimeter, providing connectivity to the existing Members’ Stand and the Parade Ring while a central north-south corridor linking the Betting Ring with the Members’ Lawn and Mounting Yard will be the heart of the stand.
The enlarged Members’ Lawn will be seamlessly linked to the level one function spaces through a grand sloping lower tier of seating, which will encompass viewing platforms, gardens and seating areas providing seamless connectivity between inside and external environments and a brand new experience for Members.
As part of the VRC’s Masterplan for Flemington, owners and trainers will be catered for in a new Owners and Trainers Area between the Club Stand and the Grandstand.
On the top level, a rooftop garden will continue the garden theme with a combination of soft and hard landscaped areas and enclosed spaces.
This will be over-sailed by the strongly expressed roof canopies – an architectural flourish consistent with the spirit of the Melbourne Cup Carnival that is so central to the building’s life.
About Release One
The VRC is excited to share the interior architectural plans for the Club Stand’s Lobby and Lounge, Lawn Bar, Paddock Bar, Courtyard Bar and Betting Ring, which are all located on the Ground Floor and the Owners and Trainers Area. The VRC looks forward to releasing more details about the exciting venues across the five different levels.
|Venue name||Venue Description|
|Lobby||Members will be stunned when they enter the Club Stand. A grand entrance that is an internal expression of contemporary architecture, evident in the central, curved sweeping staircase that takes you to Level 1, which houses the Champagne Bar and Members’ Bar. With visibility through to the Members’ Lawn, the transparency encourages the eye to look beyond the Lobby and appreciate the outdoors.
A canopied entrance celebrates a ceremonial arrival where guests will be greeted with integrated wayfinding and convenient access to the generous cloaking facilities and amenities. As well as direct access to the Betting Ring, the Lobby will also have a myriad of betting facilities, including tote operators, electronic betting terminals (EBTs), bookmakers and screens. Food and beverage outlets, access to the Parade Ring and the Mounting Yard and lifts and escalators to all five levels of the Stand make the Lobby an ideal meeting place for friends.
A fireplace will be an attractive option in the colder months, as racing purists come together in the magnificent space to enjoy a day at the races.
|Lobby Lounge||With a premium club feel, the Lobby Lounge will be a warm and inviting space capturing the essence of the Club. This social gathering area will celebrate the prestige, history and traditions of the Club, further enhanced by display cabinets filled with precious art and artefacts, which will be curated to suit events.
|The Lawn Bar||Airy and light, the Lawn Bar will be connected to the Members’ Lawn. A stylish and inviting walk-up bar, it will be vibrant and energetic. Replacing the temporary offerings previously located on the Members’ Lawn, this stylish takeaway bar with a comprehensive beverage selection and food outlets nearby is a fantastic place to meet friends. For racegoers basing themselves on Flemington’s famous front lawn, the easy access to the Betting Ring and Mounting Yard as well as food and beverages will ensure a great day out.
|The Paddock Bar||The Paddock Bar’s aesthetic will be earthy with equine references, its strong racing feel a nod to the heritage and tradition of racing. This informal walk-up bar will have a façade opening onto a terrace, adjacent to the Owners’ & Trainers’ seating and the Mounting Yard.
One for the racing enthusiasts, this beverage-only bar will service any Members frequenting the front lawn closest to the Mounting Yard, while still being near the Betting Ring, with many screens and EBTs.
|Courtyard Bar||Incorporating elements from the Members’ Old Grandstand, the Courtyard Bar will reflect the heritage of Flemington. A casual al fresco walk-up bar, it will be available to Members and guests within the Betting Ring. High communal tables and mushroom tables will be located under the building canopy, extending to the tree canopy. This casual bar for racing enthusiasts will have a strong social element, and will serve mainstream beverages, espresso coffee, sandwiches and pastries.
|Betting Ring||The upgrade to the Betting Ring will be significant, with improvements made in all areas. Greater weather protection and access to customised food and beverage options and amenities are just some of the benefits. Two tote houses will bookend the row of Bookmakers, providing excellent betting opportunities throughout. Stronger audio and visual infrastructure will ensure clarity throughout the Ring, and excellent Wi-Fi will be available. Racegoers will be able to enjoy a day out in comfort, no matter what the weather conditions.
A canopy will provide shade from warmer days and shelter from the rain in cooler months. Undercover access from the Club Stand through to the Betting Ring will ensure Members are protected throughout all the transition areas. Aesthetically, Members will be delighted by the surrounds. Enclosed by hedging, tree-lined seating will provide an al fresco betting experience amongst the renowned Elm trees which are currently being grown off course to implement in an established form.
|Owners and Trainers Area||This two levelled facility will house a Racing Press Room on the Ground Level, providing racing media with a 46-seat venue and enhanced access to horse areas.
Also on the Ground Level will be a multi-use function space. On the second level, there will be 100 seats for owners and trainers, with direct access from the Mounting Yard. It will provide premium viewing for those industry participants. An additional overflow area will provide an outdoor undercover area for Committee Room guests and additional standing area for owners and trainers.
About the new Club Stand’s Project Team
Architects – Bates Smart: The Club Stand has been designed by leading architectural firm Bates Smart, Australia’s second oldest architectural firm. Bates Smart has been responsible for designing timeless landmarks including the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, Federation Square and the Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex. www.batessmart.com
Builder – Multiplex: Multiplex has 50 years of business experience in delivering landmark property and infrastructure assets. Some of Multiplex’s recent projects include Melbourne Convention Centre, Federation Square, Wembley Stadium (London) and Crown (Perth).www.multiplex.global
Project development manager – Case Meallin: Case Meallin & Associates is a professional Project and Development Management consultancy group that was founded in 1989. It offers a broad range of services but one of its areas of expertise is in major public sport and recreation facilities having delivered projects for Melbourne Sports & Aquatic Centre, Melbourne Cricket Club and St Kilda Sea Baths. www.casemeallin.com.au
Project consultant – WT Partnership: WT Partnership is an award winning international practice for property, project and cost management consultants in building construction, infrastructure and management of facilities. In Australia, WT Partnership has been responsible for offering strategic counsel in major projects including AAMI Park Stadium, Crown West End and Federation Square.www.wtpartnership.com