13 July 2013

The Sport of Queens

The grandstand at Ascot, which accommodates 30,000 when full, was built between 2004 and 2006 to a design by Populous, an architectural practice that specialises in large sports venues. 1,600 feet long, the elegant steel, concrete and glass building has a shallow-arched parabolic form, with six tiers of corporate boxes to one side and a semi-open 'atrium' to the other.

The £185 million redevelopment was very heavily geared to corporate entertaining, and criticised by some for failing to provide raised viewing for everyday punters, the course itself being elevated above the lawns that lie in front of the grandstand. Accordingly, a  further £10 million was spent in late 2006 to re-profile the external concrete terraces, not entirely successfully.

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