Reinvigorating Royal Randwick as the heart of Sydney racing, Woods Bagot has designed a series of diverse and flexible interiors to accommodate all types of racegoers and events. From pavilions to intimate spaces, timber, stone and glass instill a level of luxury and decadence through visual motifs of pattern-making and design.
Designs to suit a diverse menu of entertainment for racing aficionados - In collaboration with the Australian Turf Club, Woods Bagot has designed the interiors of Royal Randwick, a AUD 168 million, 35,000m2 grandstand facility, with architecture by fitzpatrick+partners.
A complex series of interiors was required for Royal Randwick to accommodate a diverse range of options for all those who attend the races, as well as the versatility to morph into other kinds of venues for non-race days.
A project of this scale, with six restaurants, ten bars and five food outlets, required a large-scale design idea. Woods Bagot created a three-tier ordering device that was used to develop a design language for the public and the intimate spaces.
Portals, which frame key areas, were created through varying materials and form, and establish a visual and functional hierarchy throughout the precinct.
Also key to the design is the intrinsic link between racing and fashion, which became a key building block in Woods Bagot’s design approach, using ideas of pattern-making and motifs inspired by textile design in both large scale gestures and small scale detailing.
“Versatility was an important part of the design,” says Woods Bagot Principal, Wade Little.
“We needed to cater for everyone, from the general public, right through to horse owners and trainers, plus create a space that could be used for other functions and events on non-race days.”
With six restaurants, ten bars and five food outlets, the project required a large-scale design idea. Woods Bagot created a three-tier ordering device that was used to develop a design language for the public and the intimate spaces.
The intrinsic link between racing and fashion also became a key building block in Woods Bagot’s design approach, using ideas of pattern-making and motifs inspired by textile design in both large scale gestures, and small scale detailing.
“Fashion is such an important part of the races. People wear the best clothes that they have, whether that’s a tailored herringbone suit or a Missoni dress. Both of these patterns provided inspiration for the interiors,” says Little.
The grandstand features a full glass frontage, offering uninterrupted views of the track on one side. At the rear of each level, terraces provide views of the Theatre of the Horse, Centennial Park and the Sydney CBD.
Situated on Level 4 of the new grandstand building at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney, The Stables is inspired by the traditional 18th century members-only private clubs. True to its name, the design references horse stables, both through large architectural gestures such as a series of brass and timber-clad columns, and private rooms with operable doors, as well as through smaller details.
The choice of raw materials such as antique brass, blackened steel, rough sawn, stained timber and comfortable leather-upholstered furniture articulate the design with bespoke detailing that references horse equipment such as saddles and bridles. The design intention was to create a series of distinct moments within the space.
Four main spaces – the Members’ Restaurant, Terrace, Reading Room, and Music Room – are further divided to create intimate moments. The Members’ Restaurant is a large space divided by outsized cabinet de curiosites – or wunderkammers – inspired by Victorian drawing rooms and a series of bespoke banquettes. The Terrace’s main feature is the spectacular view to Sydney. Its colour scheme echoes the Union Jack, while outdoor rugs, planters and oversized rattan pendants evoke the atmosphere of a British colonial, tropical setting.
The Reading Room features a pool table and low seating areas with bespoke chess- and backgammon-patterned table tops. Inspired by an Alice in Wonderland-moment, this space leads through to the Music Room via a large rotating bookshelf, complete with Moët & Chandon bar and private dining room.