Inauguration ceremony held for Longchamp racecourse
Dominique Perrault Architecture
New facilities complete at historic Bois de Bologne site
In 2011, an international competition was launched to find an architect for the historic Longchamp Racecourse, situated in Bois de Bologne, Paris. The winner, Dominique Perrault Architecture, went on to create a coherent vision for the whole site, replacing grandstands dating from the 1960s with one structure and renovating the heritage buildings. Yesterday, the inauguration ceremony took place, marking just over two years since the foundation stone was laid in March 2016.
The course is most noted for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe race, which attracts 60,000 spectators, but also hosts smaller crowds throughout the yearly racing calendar. The challenge was to create a space suitable for events of varying size, while ensuring that any new developments suited the landscape heritage of the Bois de Bologne, devised by Alphand in the 19th Century. By consolidating the support functions into pavilions and ensuring the new stand is compact, the design reduces the size of existing constructions to create generous perspectives over the landscape.
Inside the new grandstand, the stacking of various levels brings to mind transparent “shelves”, allowing spectators to move from views of the stables to views over the racecourse. As well as practical considerations, the building has a design that reflects its purpose, featuring an overhang which makes the structure appear in motion, like a galloping horse oriented towards the finish line.
Dominique Perrault commented: “Hidden in nature, The Paris Longchamp racecourse revives the charm of garden parties of the past, of promenades in the wood and the poetry of the Bagatelle gardens, while also offering comfort for all types of public and an effective and efficient facility.”
TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor
This competition was first published by Tenderstream on 27.01.2011 here
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