Design & Development

Project update: Curragh close to the finish line

The Curragh Racecourse is Ireland’s most prestigious flat racing venue and the spiritual home of the sport in Ireland. The racecourse hosts the finest horses, owners, trainers and riders in the world, but has not to date been matched by similar world class facilities. The Grimshaw-led design for the Curragh Racecourse Redevelopment will change this, creating an outstanding new facility that showcases a carefully considered contemporary design and respectfully responds to both its context and heritage. The redevelopment of the site provides the opportunity to reinforce the existing qualities of the grounds, while also meeting the demands of the future.

Once fully opened, the new Racecourse will boast some of the best facilities the racing world has to offer, making Curragh a truly world-class redevelopment. The new grandstand will incorporate five-star corporate facilities, restaurants, bars and superb viewing facilities to ensure that visitors are provided with a rich and memorable experience.

In order to facilitate racing to continue at the Curragh throughout the construction process, it has been split into two phases. The first phase of the redevelopment was completed in May 2018. Since, visitors and racers have enjoyed the new facilities. In addition to the equine areas; the Pre-Parade and Parade Rings, Saddling stalls and refurbished stables, the public had access to a new restaurant, coffee shop and playground, set adjacent to a newly landscaped plaza. Part of phase one was the relocation and reconstruction of the Queen’s room; a relic of the original historic stand.

Phase 1 sits in the foreground of the works of the main grandstand, to which the magnificent roof structure will have provided the primary backdrop. As the latter is the main architectural feature of note, racegoers have seen its construction develop over the year.

The signature roof will provide much-needed shelter for all, while optimising long-distance views over the course. Visitors to the racecourse will also have enhanced views of the iconic landscape of the Curragh plains thanks to the graduated four-tier structure. The Redevelopment will comfortably cater for upwards of 6,000 people as the site expands for larger events.

Construction of the Curragh Racecourse now nears completion, and the widely anticipated redevelopment is due to open in Spring 2019.

Images: Grimshaw