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Rudolph Etienne et Aurélie Vanthournout
BU Conseil
Published on June 20, 2019

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Paris Longchamp racecourse: engineering harnessed in service of a vision

It is no accident that ParisLonchamp is today acknowledged by horseracing professionals as the best racecourse in Europe. Our teams contributed to the revival of this atypical building alongside the architect and prime contractor Dominique Perrault and placed all their technical and managerial skills at the disposal of France Galop (project owner).

ParisLongchamp

- Crédits : A. Vanthournout - Egis

The management of very large projects entails addressing a range of regulatory and environmental constraints. Situated on a listed heritage site, ParisLongchamp proved to be no exception to the rule. Requiring several administrative authorisations relating to the Building and Environment codes, the refurbishment of the racecourse, on which the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is run every year, was the subject of many discussions lasting ten years with Paris City Hall and the French architecture regulator Architecte des Bâtiments de France. Our client France Galop, a not-for-profit organisation which runs six racecourses and three training centres, brings together a range of different profiles with similarly varied interests: owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys and enthusiasts. Success thus depends on listening to all the stakeholders. The choice of project contributors, the design, planning permission and construction phases are above all issues based on people. Egis’ know-how in the field is a genuine asset to support our clients in delivering on their ambitions. It is our job to anticipate and prepare the projects in advance to ultimately bring about a consensus.

Ensuring project continuity through the years

While the general public’s waning interest in horseracing acted as a catalyst for the modernisation project, the client’s business plan and goals evolved over its course. We were required to consider “daily activities”, “special events” and “race days” with scalable services depending on requirements - company seminars, Fashion Week catwalks or music festivals such as Solidays – and drive a new range of festive offerings to reach new audiences.

A robust environmental commitment

In terms of design, the site obtained HQE Tertiaire® (High Environmental Quality - tertiary) certification for the new buildings and HQE Aménagement® (layout development) for the whole project, all within a strict conservation framework: energy and water efficiency, careful attention paid to biodiversity, fauna and flora, and more specifically to the existing plane and cedar trees which epitomise the racecourse and constitute a guarantee of a high-quality horse racing environment. Care for wildlife life was essential to the success of this project and its conservation was planned in the finest detail. One illustration of this is the two magnificent cedar trees that grow through the very middle of the construction under the watchful eye of the peregrine falcon rehoused in a nesting box placed specifically there for it.

 

The authors


Rudolph Etienne,

Real Estate Director of the BU Consulting

 


Aurélie Vanthournout,

Project Director at the BU Consulting

 

 

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