A consortium of two architect firms, international practice Grimshaw Architects and Limerick based Newenham Mulligan has won the international Architectural Competition to produce a concept design for the redevelopment of the Curragh Racecourse. The competition attracted interest from over 100 architectural firms worldwide.
An Independent Technical Panel reviewed all of the compliant applications and shortlisted six companies to go forward to a Vision Design Stage. The Panel was chaired by Kay Hughes Principal Design Adviser and Head of Design at the London Olympic Delivery Authority.
The six Vision Designs were judged by the Awards Jury, chaired by Dublin born and educated Angela Brady, immediate past President of RIBA and director of Brady Mallalieu Architects London. The Awards Jury selected three of the six shortlisted teams to produce a more detailed concept design and present designs with a model to the Jury in the final stage of the competition. The Grimshaw Architects / Newenham Mulligan & Associates consortium was unanimously selected as winners. They beat off close competition in this final stage from Foster and Partners and BDP.
The decision to redevelop the Curragh Racecourse into a world-class facility to showcase the best of Irish racing was initially taken in 2005. The original planned project was deferred, after planning permission was received in 2008, given the adverse change in Ireland’s economic conditions. It was, however, recognised that there was a continuing and compelling need for such redevelopment. Following discussions with a number of key stakeholders, the Turf Club decided to re-visit the project in 2011. It was agreed that the Architectural Competition was an appropriate first step in the process.
Racecourse General Manager, Paul Hensey, said “the entire process has been very beneficial. We have had the benefit of some amazingly talented people looking at the potential options for the Curragh site. The concept design shows real innovation while at the same time respecting both the great heritage of the Curragh and the unique environment surrounding the racecourse”.
Mr Hensey stressed that this decision reflected only the conclusion of the design competition. The winning design is, at this stage, a concept and the next steps will include discussions with the winning consortium to see how best the design aspects of the project can be developed to meet all of the Curragh’s requirements, respecting the views of many stakeholders. “We are at the start of an exciting process and look forward to taking the design to the next critical stages in making it become a reality and bringing this vision to life.”