Bates Smart-designed stand unveiled at Flemington Racecourse

A state-of-the-art new Club Stand designed by Bates Smart has opened today (Thursday) at Melbourne’s Flemington Racecourse.

The vision for the new A$128m (£71m/€81m/$92m) grandstand and hospitality facility was created by Bates Smart, a leading Australian architecture and interior design firm. The five-level Club Stand becomes the 10th grandstand to be built at the racecourse since 1865.

Bates Smart was asked by the Victoria Racing Club to design the new grandstand and hospitality space back in 2012. The design of the stand is inspired from the shape of the racetrack and features ‘petal’ projections which form the perimeter of the stand at each floor.

Bates Smart director Kristen Whittle, who led the design for the architectural team, said: “The highly sculptural curvilinear form of the building with its tilting sunshade and tiered seating will create an immersive ‘in-the-round’ experience for Members and their guests who will enjoy each of the beautifully curated venues with impressive views of the racetrack.”

The stand will provide guests with 360-degree views of the Mounting Yard, race track, Members Lawn, Parade Ring, Betting Ring and Winning Post.

VRC chairman Amanda Elliott said: “Bates Smart has designed an exceptional building with unique spaces that deliver an unrivalled raceday experience for VRC Members and their guests.

“The wide-ranging restaurants and bars, each with their own design personality drawing on our rich history, ensure there is something for everyone as well as guaranteeing Flemington and Melbourne remain the global home of racing, events and entertainment. The Club Stand is a confident expression of the VRC’s belief in our future growth and prosperity. It is a ‘game-changer’ for us.”

Floor-to-ceiling glazing will be featured in the perimeter of the Club Stand, with the frameless wall concept brought inside through curved full-height glass dividing walls. The principle white ceilings are also designed to mimic the underside of the balconies of the external façade.

The Club Stand also features The Roof Garden, which provides guests with views of the city and the Melbourne city skyline. Additional features include a new external walkway on the first floor, a north-south corridor and The Betting Ring.

The new stand has been unveiled ahead of next week’s prestigious Melbourne Cup event at Flemington Racecourse.

Image: Bates Smart/Peter Clarke