Embracing motorsports through architecture
Area 27 Motorsports
In the Sonoran Desert in Oliver, B.C., there’s a place that promotes and celebrates the exquisite culture of motorsports. Situated around an existing classic Grand Prix racetrack, designed by the legendary Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve, Area 27 Motorsports Park is one of a kind. The park’s name pays homage to Villeneuve’s number. The clubhouse includes a dining room and lounge, showroom, large patio, offices, repair garage, classrooms and other member exclusive facilities – all situated in a beautiful arid location. Kasian was hand-picked to design this unique project based on our experienced and collaborative, commercial team.
Similar to golf clubs or yacht clubs, for racing enthusiasts, this exclusive membership facility celebrates the world of luxury cars, revving engines, adrenaline, and speed.
Situated on the Osoyoos Indian Band land and surrounded by vineyards, this is one of the most temperate places in Canada (great for long racing seasons).
Our challenge was to design permanent infrastructure with optimized vantage points for both racers and spectators. The clubhouse needed to integrate with the complex slope of the land by creating a two-storey building that mediated between the lower and upper ground plane. Weather was another challenge – specifically designing a building that remained comfortable with wild winds and intense summer heat, common in Oliver’s desert-like climate.
Our goal was to design seamless transitions between landscape, driving areas, and the clubhouse to form a distinct community space centred around racing – so Area 27 members’ not only see the process, but vicariously experience it.
Great design celebrates the clients’ vision. This isn’t just another clubhouse. With Area 27, we took a customized approach to enhance the client’s aspiration – to do more than they thought it could. We’re celebrating a culture and creating a source of pride around motorsports.”
With a clear motivation to design and build the facility in one year, our team held a series of meetings and design workshops. We first developed a facility program for the clubhouse. Our design was focused on experience: creating a vicarious exchange between guests and drivers to truly experience the art of race car driving.
We started with the central design point of the clubhouse, which included an elevated dining-room and lounge area centred around the race track’s start, middle, and finish line. We designed around the key sightlines, to make sure the cars were seen driving to the start point before a race.
We worked closely with a contractor (who also happened to be a race car driver) to ensure design details were integrated, accommodated, and within budget.
We oriented the clubhouse toward the track, while maximizing windows on the north and east sides, using large roof cantilevers over outdoor areas to protect guests from the sun. Thick walls with supreme insulation keep cooling costs low. Then we created an optic lens to the track by lifting the roof and fanning its slope.
To synthesize the interior and exterior, we installed large retractable garage doors – creating a cohesive indoor/outdoor space. Floors were reinforced to allow cars in the building. Wood, rich colours, and glass permeates warmth through the clubhouse.
We designed offices, a gift shop, locker rooms, washrooms, and a state-of-the-art education facility for aspiring drivers. We included a garage for repairs and body work in the basement and incorporated southern Okanagan indigenous plants into our landscape design.
As one of the longest and best racetracks in Canada, this motorsports park together with its striking clubhouse, has put our country on the map for motorheads and car fans. People come to Area 27 from all over the world. This world class club is now a boon for the tourist industry in the Okanagan area, creating significant economic and social impacts for the community.
Since its construction, several major racing events have been held there, including the Porsche Sports Cup Canada and the 2017 Hublot Diamond Rally.
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