Ascot Racecourse Project
We successfully pitched for a CAT B refurbishment of Ascot Racecourse’s commercial workspace, which is located on the lower ground floor of their Queen Anne building. During the design refinement stage the project expanded to a CAT A refurbishment, as the space hadn’t been refitted for many years and was not fit for purpose.
We designed a flexible space to accommodate their commercial teams, bringing together some departments who had previously not been able to work in the same space. Due to their specific business requirements, the team expands by around 20% in the lead up to ‘Royal Ascot’ week which meant clever solutions had to be brought into the design to accommodate. Among the design challenges was creating an area for each Royal Enclosure badge to be meticulously handwritten and collateral compiled for this one prestigious week of the year.
Storage rooms were built into pockets of the floor space leaving the majority of the area open plan so the teams could work closer together. At the heart of the office is a large layout table and soft seating to bring departments together to meet and collaborate. The layout table with bespoke storage underneath allows for all raceday packs to be stored and collated in house.
We used fabrics and finishes to reflect the elegance and sophistication of the Ascot brand throughout the office. The classic Ascot ‘blue’ features on the walls and a touch of the Royal Ascot gold is delicately used as an accent on the glazing and feature pendant lighting. Picture frames using historic artwork from racedays gone by are used throughout the space and the hat hooks allow the ladies millinery to classically dress other areas of the space.
Threading this intent throughout the whole design allowed us to theme the meeting spaces, the 2 main meeting rooms were named Estimate (HM the Queen’s horse) and Yeats (the only horse to win the Gold Cup 4 times in succession), both proud suggestions from the Ascot commercial team. These rooms are finished in a monochromatic style and both feature large images of each horse at Ascot, creating a dramatic and timeless feel.
The 2 smaller rooms were styled to reflect the heritage of the racecourse. One is styled around a gentleman’s reading room, with paneled walls, equine wall décor and Queen Anne armchairs in distressed leather. The other room was designed as quiet working room, with acoustic wall covering and a picture frame gallery wall to inspire the user.
We deliberately designed a large kitchen and breakout space to the far end of the floor area, so that staff would come in via this space, grab a coffee or have breakfast in a communal setting before heading into the open plan office. The staff must attend every race meet including each day of Royal Ascot, and dress accordingly. We built in large coat cupboards with spaces for hats and shoes and a dressing area, where each person has their own locker, above which are mirrors and lighting for any last minute preening. Adjacent to the door is a huge mirror with their company promise ‘Raise the Standard’ so that this is ever present before they tend to their clients on race day.
Clients and visitors to the space enter at the other end of the floor area, where we have a welcoming branded seating area. Leading into the space, a bespoke infographic was created, showcasing fascinating facts, figures and key events that make the racecourse what it is today.