Victoria Racing Club And The Future Of Flemington

The Victoria Racing Club’s (VRC) mandate for the new Club Stand at Flemington Racecourse was to design a significant structure that would not only honour the club’s illustrious history, but also symbolise the future and forever redefine the raceday experience. The team replied by resolving to develop a strong and memorable structure that would become an indelible part of the future of Flemington. The goal was to reimagine not only the grandstand itself, but also the types of hospitality spaces available to members.

Oval Shape Of The Building, A Panoramic Experience And The Gardens

The Club Stand / Bates Smart,© Sean Fennessy

Initial investigations showed a distinct and obvious logic that not only solved functional issues, but also highlighted the possibility to construct an iconic stand that respects the site setting. The oval shape of the building is important to this, and it helped to tackle some of the site’s primary issues, with the ‘in the round’ design of the stand allowing for a panoramic experience that captures the theatrical of horse racing from all sides. The sculptural and curving design was inspired by the racetrack’s shape, race day millinery, and Flemington’s famed rose gardens, and it covers almost the same footprint as the original Members’ Old Grandstand, but with more capacity.


The Club Stand, located at the main entrance, serves as a hub for several parts of the course, including the Members Lawn, Pre-Parade Ring, Betting Ring, Committee Room, and Winning Post. The design recognises this context, and the architecture’s sweeping curvilinear and sculptural form allows members to see the energy and excitement that occurs both on and off the racetrack. The oval shape of the structure embodies the dynamic energy of the location, while the tiered ‘petal’ cantilevers give the structure a strong sculptural presence that sets it apart from other racing grandstands in Australia and around the world.

Exterior Of The Architectural Language And Other Influences

The Club Stand / Bates Smart,© Sean Fennessy

The exterior’s well-defined architectural language is carried over to the interior. The interior’s adaptability was achieved by thinking of the hospitality rooms as stage sets that could be ‘plugged’ into the ageless shell and given individual personalities to appeal to modern expectations and members’ varying needs. The team spent a significant amount of time conducting research and conducting analytical studies, as well as observing and collecting data on visitor behaviour, patterns, and operations. This research influenced the design, and venues were constructed with pedestrian circulation in mind, assuring visitor comfort during peak moments.


Written By Ankit Lad | Subscribe To Our Telegram Channel To Get Latest Updates And Don’t Forget To Follow Our Social Media Handles Facebook Instagram LinkedIn Twitter. To Get the Latest Updates From Arco Unico

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