Hippodromes were ancient Grecian stadiums meant for horse racing and chariot racing. In the old days, racecourses were built in natural amphitheatres so that observers could watch the whole race from the side of a mountain. Nowadays, the location is not as important. Spectators have clubhouses from which they can observe and enjoy the atmosphere of the race.
Bro Park Racecourse was built in 2016 and is a mere half an hour drive from Stockholm. The structure is new so the architects improved on the shortcomings of traditional racecourses and created a modern home for the ancient sport.
The modern hippodrome has a longer race track, a larger clubhouse and the main stand is located very close to the track. The architecture is in a perfect harmony with the track and surrounding landscape. One of the key aims of the project was to create a harmonious environment: a place with stables, training areas and a visitor’s center that functions equally well during competitions as well as on an everyday basis.
The clubhouse’s impressive architecture catches your eye from a distance. The design looks great entering from gate as well as from the track. The curving arc of the roof resembles a galloping horse and along with the light glass facade it creates a sense of airiness, removing the barrier between the audience and the speeding horses.
The entire building is surrounded by a terrace, which the architects chose to build out of long-lasting Thermory Ash. The wood adds warmth to the concrete, glass and metal elements of the building and it can be used as a recreational or observing area in various weather conditions. The terrace is deliberately left untreated to showcase the decorous silver grey tone of the wood and add indication to the long history of horse and chariot racing.
Project: Bro Park Galoppbana
Location: Upplands Bro, Stockholm
Architects: Gustav Appell Arkitektkontor
Landscape architecture: Johan Paju
Thank you: Moelven Wood Projekt
Photo: Devis Bionaz