Epsom Downs Racecourse has lined up four practices in the race to prepare a masterplan for the famous Derby venue, the AJ can reveal.
Course officials are talking to Horden Cherry Lee Architects, designer of its main grandstand;
BDP; Atherden Fuller Leng; and Nugent Vallis Brierley from Frome in Somerset to compete for the job to rework the historic site.
Epsom Downs Racecourse executive director Stephen Wallis told the AJ that the work will include a £6 million renovation project for the main grandstand. 'A rebuild is not an option, ' he said. The masterplan will involve looking at reorganising spaces and new buildings: 'A hotel is in the vision and we'll need to look and see what's feasible, ' said Wallis. 'We want to capitalise on the Queen's Stand and the Derby as a national event.'
Wallis wants the facilities to be a 'beacon architectural landmark' in the borough and is keen to discuss the masterplan with local planners.However, a complication to the process will be that free access to the Surrey Downs is protected by an Act of Parliament - more than 100,000 racegoers attend the Derby every summer but, because of the rule, no one knows the exact number watching the race.
Horden Cherry Lee's Richard Horden was recently associated with BDP at Glasgow's Science Centre, where he provided the concept for BDP's rotating Wing Tower, built next to the Science mall and Imax theatre.