< Horseracing >


‘Eagle Farm Racecourse’

Eagle Farm, Queensland

Lead Architect: Populous

Engaged to perform architectural services as an employee of Populous: Ralph Wheeler

Eagle Farm is Queensland’s premier racecourse. The current redevelopment involves relocating a number of existing facilities to the track infield. This ground breaking project is the first of its kind in the Australia setting a new standard for elite racecourses. The relocation will free-up land owned by the Brisbane Racing Club enabling mixed-use and mid-rise residential redevelopment, ensuring it’s long term financial sustainability. The new infield will comprise 400 new stables and training facilities, new member’s carpark, large format videoboard, maintenance facilities, vehicular and pedestrian tunnels, and a multi-purpose entry pavilion. The modular stable buildings and courtyards are a cost effective solution that maximises passive design principles for cross ventilation, shade and cooling. Vehicle and horse movement have been separated to minimise cross flows and promote horse safety.


‘Hong Kong Jockey Club Masterplan’

Happy Valley and Sha Tin Racecourses 

Lead Architect: Populous 

Engaged to perform architectural services as an employee of Populous: Ralph Wheeler

The Hong Kong Jockey Club masterplan aims to capture a range of design issues, limitations and opportunities explored over the course of a twelve month study period for both the Happy Valley Racecourse and Sha Tin Racecourse. It also includes in-depth analysis of customer segmentation and customer experiential investigations. Designed as a series of implementation phases over a 15 years time frame, the overall masterplan scope includes over $2.0B of new building works, refurbishment, infrastructure and landscaping. Importantly these works are carefully sequenced to ensure minimal interruption to the racing calendar and the Club’s core business.


‘Penang Racecourse’

 Penang, Malaysia 

Lead Architect: Populous 

Engaged to perform architectural services as an employee of Populous: Ralph Wheeler

This un-built project involved the construction of a new racecourse in Batu Kawan, Malaysia. The proposed site was on a palm oil estate which presented some substantial engineering challenges. The land needed to be filled above local flood levels and the track elevated to ensure that there was no possibility of seawater back flow along the proposed drainage systems. The main grandstand was designed as an elevated pod above a tiered open concourse. Internally the grandstand building design catered for 5,000 spectators with space for an additional 10,000 spectators spread across the adjacent terraces. Unfortunately, unresolved negotiations between the client group and developer prevented this project from being constructed.


‘Sydney Showgrounds Masterplan’

 Homebush, New South Wales 

Lead Architect: Populous 

Engaged to perform architectural services as an employee of Populous: Ralph Wheeler

The masterplan for the iconic Sydney Showgrounds at Homebush is focused on rationalising floor space requirements for the annual Royal Easter Show. This is part of an overall review of the ‘event footprint’ to make way for new alternative development opportunities. eg residential, education and event car parking. One notable recommendation is to consolidate the existing animal pavilions into a single multi-storey pavilion able to cater for all livestock exhibited at the Show. Nicknamed ‘The Ark’ , the new building would have a flexible open plan design and the ability to be converted to a multi-purpose entertainment venue with car parking at the lower levels.


‘Moonee Valley Racecourse Grandstand’

 Melbourne, Victoria 

Lead Architects: NH Architecture + RWA 

Tender Coordinator: Ralph Wheeler

NH Architecture + RWA in Joint Venture were shortlisted for the new Moonee Valley Racecourse Grandstand design tender. Although unsuccessful with our tender submission, we produced an innovative design proposal that focussed on spectators becoming fully immersed in Moonee Valley’s unique horseracing experience. Design features included a centralised parade ring and presentation area that would allow both members and public to intimately access horses pre-race and post-race becoming a central focal point at the front of the grandstand. The proximity of the grandstand to the track also meant spectators would feel like they were on top of the action with unobstructed premium viewing to the racetrack, parade ring, stripping stalls and the interconnected network of horsewalks within the infield.


‘Eagle Farm Grandstand Precinct Masterplan’

 Eagle Farm, Queensland 

Lead Architect: RWA Sports Architecture 

Project Architect: Ralph Wheeler

The redevelopment of Eagle Farm Racecourse includes major refurbishment to the existing grandstands and patron areas. Many of the grandstands are heritage listed requiring a sensitive design approach to preserve and showcase these unique buildings as part of the redevelopment. The John Power Stand will undergo a significant refurbishment to improve patron areas and solve a number of operational issues within the existing building.  A similar approach is envisaged for the refurbishment of the adjacent Paddock Stand and Members Stand.  New horse float parking areas will allow visiting horse floats to load and unload within close proximity to the existing day stalls and parade ring.