One of the “buzz words” of horse racing the world over, Curragh, at the heart of thoroughbred racing in County Kildare has a long history.
Then and Now
History alone is not enough. A modern industry, as horse racing is today, needs a modern showcase, and the old buildings at the course were no longer equal to the task. Some of them, in particular, the Queen’s Room, needed to be preserved, but most of the project was a complete redesign and new build.
The grandstand, the heart of the course, was designed to house a rapidly growing number of spectators, and the best in design is not necessarily the easiest to build.
The cantilever roof juts out by as much as forty–five metres at the West End. There are heavy trusses to take the load of the roof, and these trusses needed to be braced by a bespoke steel node. This called for the highest level of precision engineering, as the tolerances were minimal; there were eighteen steel bracings joining it from all directions, and they needed to be millimetre perfect.
Loads of this weight called for full penetration butt welds carrying plates of up to 130 mm thick. The steel is S355K2.
Jamestown Steel is probably the only company in Ireland capable of taking on a task of this magnitude. The huge node was a complicated structure, and Jamestown manufactured a jig to mimic the site condition to ensure that, once the node was delivered, it would fit perfectly.
“Jamestown’s Node Fitted Perfectly”
As a testimonial, “Jamestown’s Node fitted perfectly with all connections on site. On-site installation took minimal time” from the Site Manager could hardly be bettered.
This was heavy precision engineering of the highest calibre, and Jamestown once again justified the decision of architects and construction engineers to choose them for this vital part of the project.