Not without some controversy in France and Spain alike (from his stand in El País, Fernando Savater – a big fan of the turf world – expressed his nostalgia for the old building), the renovated Longchamp Racecourse was recently completed. Long a reference in the European horse racing world, the enclave is also a symbolic gateway into the Bois de Boulogne, the great lung of the French capital.
Conceived as a stack of huge platforms which with its steep inclination gives good views of the races, the new main building of the Parisian hippodrome essentially maintains the directives established in the international competition that Dominique Perrault won in 2011. The stacking strategy gives the construction its unique look, and audiences benefit from open and crossed panoramas besides protection from winds. Finally, the stacks address what have probably been the two major challenges of the project: to make the new ensemble engage with its green surroundings; and to integrate buildings of different periods and on different land levels in a single image recognizable from the nearby Seine.