Grand Prix New York
Facility - Indoor Karting Facility
Size - 120,000 sf
Architect: Gallin Design Studio, PLLC
MEP Engineers: Marchetti Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer: The DiSalvo Ericson Group
Photography: Fred Charles, fcharles.com
Grand Prix New York embodies the client's desire to construct the premier kart racing and social function facility providing its visitors with an authentic racing and refined entertainment experience. The design for GPNY developed from the understanding that the distinct functional spaces for kart racing and social entertainment are enriched when juxtaposed through overlapping and complimentary spatial configuration. The primary pedestrian interaction space of the project is the concourse that connects all the programs of the facility and doubles as a showroom for racing and exotic cars. The racing space of the project contains the two (combinable) quarter-mile tracks with elevation changes. The energy of the facility is immediately apparent upon entry where the two types of spaces (racing and pedestrian) come into close contact. The track bulges into the concourse with a fast hair-pin turn that produces a racing line where the karts speed directly toward the entrance.
The shape of the concourse surrounds the bulge of the track on three sides and extends over the track with a viewing bridge. A 300 ft. long serpentine structural glass fin wall stands between the race tracks and the social function space to climatically and acoustically separate the two environments. The use of low iron glass and minimal metal enhances the visual connection and affords excellent views of the racing from any point in the building. Inspired by the fluid geometry of racing lines, the walls, stairs, ceilings, counters and banners follow a dynamic path through the concourse.
The limited orthogonal geometry and sharp corners are overshadowed by the soft curves which provide the transition between the edges. Flooring material and their patterns also shift, dissolve, and reappear, adding to the dynamic spirit. The facility added a bowling alley to better serve the needs of families in 2012. This provided an opportunity to continue the fluidity by installing a feature that not only provided light to the space, but an energetic atmosphere by combining bowling pins and similarly shaped pendant fixtures which can be set to either simple white light or multi-color projection. The space was designed with sensitivity to energy consumption and includes a substantial heat recovery system to capture energy that would be otherwise lost during the frequent required air changes.