- Environment & Infrastructure
- Strategic consulting
- Specialist consulting
- The Living City
- Happold Consulting
Argentinians have a passion for motorsport, but have not hosted a F1 event since the mid 90’s. This privately funded project would see the phased construction of a state of the art racing circuit and associated facilities in the heart of Argentina capable of hosting a FIA race. In addition to the 5.5km of FiA compliant track, the final scheme will house a training academy, driver training centre, an off-road park, two luxury hotels, serviced apartments, a conference centre, retail village, luxury clubhouse and numerous brand houses. The development is situated near the town of Zarate approximately 80km north of Buenos Aires, and will be constructed in two distinct phases. The first will see the construction of a 3.1km track and all supporting infrastructure, capable of hosting national race events with crowds of up to 30,000. Phase two will then develop the site fully with the view to becoming home to the Argentinian F1 Grand Prix.
This ambitious, infrastructure-led project presents a number of challenges, not least working within the compact, 60Ha site. Planning the space around the strict dictates of the track itself has been key to developing the fully-functioning masterplan. The resulting infrastructure includes a number of significant retaining walls, underpasses and tunnel sections, to ensure racing and servicing vehicle access around the site. Populous and BH will be working closely together to model, check and delivery the design of the track itself and the necessary run-off areas, barriers and safety fences.
The site is relatively small compared with most F1 venues, which the project team has taken as both a challenge and an opportunity. The concept is to form the track within a ‘bowl’, thus providing spectators with a greater panorama of the race, and providing a more technically challenging circuit for the driver. With a flat greenfield site, this concept requires significant surface remodulation and associated earthworks; with cut and fill of approximately 6m below and above existing ground level, and complex storm water drainage network utilising attenuation ponds, tanks and pumps.
The facility will need to accommodate significant fluctuations in populations, ranging from a few hundred on day to day operation up to ten of thousands of visitors during large race days. Devising commercially viable and sustainable infrastructure strategies to accommodate these large variances in visitor numbers has also been a key challenge for the project team.
Buro Happold services: Civil Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Utilities Engineering, Transport Planning, Sustainability and Crowd Flow