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Floating copper roof marks out Grimshaw’s racecourse grandstand

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The renewed complex for the ‘spiritual’ home of Irish horseracing, Curragh Racecourse in County Kildare, consists of a new grandstand, parade rings, museum wing and refurbished stable blocks

Designed by Grimshaw working with Dublin-based architect Newenham Mulligan & Associates and engineer AECOM, the grandstand features a floating copper roof, its colour intended to reference the rural Irish vernacular and the agricultural heritage of Kildare. Underneath this the continuous roof soffit structure is formed of aluminium sinusoidal panels, while facilities include restaurants, bars and viewing platforms. 

13101 n55 the curragh racecourse (c) gareth byrne

Grimshaw designed the interiors of all the public areas, bars and the majority of the private suites. The interior design blends the use of concrete and brass with natural materials, including stone, leather and timber.

13101 n49 the curragh racecourse (c) roger o'sullivan

An emphasis on sustainability in the scheme sees cement replacements used in the concrete and recycled steel, as well as rainwater attenuation and harvesting as part of a sustainable drainage system. Natural ventilation in the Champions Hall, museum and bistro restaurant utilises the exposed thermal mass of the concrete frame, and is supplemented by smart sensors and systems designed to maximise daylight in all public spaces.

The whole complex is designed around the movement and flow between the parade rings, the betting and hospitality areas, and the racetrack, with each of the public spaces designed to have a distinctive atmosphere and identity.

The curragh drawings page 1

Level 00

Architect’s view 

The grandstand roof soars across the sky, cutting a shape that we hope is becoming as familiar and loved to fans of the sport as the history of the ground itself. We look forward to the continuing success of the new era of Irish horseracing and are pleased to add a fantastic project to our growing sports portfolio.

Kirsten Lees, managing partner, Grimshaw

The curragh drawings page 4

Project data

Completion May 2019
Gross internal floor area 3,300m²
Gross (internal + external) floor area 10,500m²
Form of contract or procurement route Traditional
Construction cost €80 million
Architect Grimshaw
Executive architect Newenham Mulligan & Associates
Client The Curragh Racecourse
Structural engineer AECOM
M&E consultant AECOM
Facade engineer AECOM
Access consultant OHAC
Transport consultant Momentum Transport
Landscape consultant DFLA
Acoustic consultant AECOM
Project manager Lafferty Project Managers
CDM coordinator AECOM
Approved building inspector AECOM
Main contractor Sisk & Sons
CAD software used Revit, Rhino
Annual CO2 emissions 65.6kgCO2eq/m²

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