I visited Royal Ascot in June and July (17 November). I like the building and think it was remarkable that it was completed in time for the meeting. However, there are some issues that need rectifying.
There were huge problems crossing from the parade ring to the stands as the circulation in the concourse makes movement difficult. At Royal Ascot, many racegoers consume large quantities of alcohol. I don’t want to pay to mix with drunken people. I’ve nothing against people enjoying themselves, but at Royal Ascot it can be unpleasant.
Another drawback is that the concourse is lined with bars and food outlets with nowhere for people to sit and eat, so they are in the way of people crossing to the outside. The smell of the food pervades the concourse and once I slipped on discarded fish and chip packaging. I’m not keen to spend my afternoons in a fish and chip shop or a burger bar. By the end of the day the concourse is not an attractive place.
I’m pleased to read that architect HOK says it’s possible to relocate these facilities. There are sections, well away from the main circulation areas, that can easily accommodate retail outlets.
People who want to watch the racing need to be able to move quickly from the stand to the parade ring and the winners enclosure after the race. There’s no time for meandering – you need to be able to move quickly!