This week, we speak with Steven McIldowie, Director at McIldowie Partners about the renovation of Australia’s largest and oldest bloodstock auctioneer, William Inglis and Son.
Tell us about the project? What was the client brief?
William Inglis is Australia’s leading thoroughbred horse sales agents with facilities in Sydney and just outside Melbourne. The Melbourne facility has undergone a major refurbishment to the sales arena, dining rooms, private function facilities, kitchen and external terraces.
The client brief was to turn an outdated 1980’s facility into a contemporary space that could not only be used for horse sales, but also as a general function venue with multiple applications.
What made you choose BAUX products for the space?
The main sales area previously sat around 800 on a raked concrete floor and basic seats. In upgrading with large tiered seating zones focused on a sales podium there was a requirement to enhance a long flat wall as well as to improve the acoustic performance of the space. We selected Baux panels for their aesthetics, acoustic performance and durability.
In terms of design, the main challenge was to create a vibrant, contemporary space without distracting the audience’s attention from the main objective of selling valuable racehorses. Baux panels created a backdrop with sufficient interest but without undue distraction. A pre-made pattern was selected and matched with plain coloured panels.
What is the importance of a well-designed acoustic environment?
Acoustics are vital in every project undertaken by McIldowie Partners and we always engage specialist consultants such as Marshall Day to assist in design. In the case of the Inglis facility there is considerable noise generated by the audience/buyers and the auctioneer. When bidding for a race horse there are large sums of money involved and acoustic performance of the space is a major issue. Baux panels, along with other acoustic treatments have been highly successful in making a space that performs excellently from an acoustic perspective.
What is your favourite aspect of the project?
Looking at the before and after photos of a refurbishment is always exciting, especially when the completed project accurately reflects the renders produced at the design stage. From a professional point of view we are also proud when a client reports increased sales following the completion of the works.
What would the dream BAUX project look like?
We are currently working on some performing arts and cultural centre projects. We hope to incorporate more Baux products that will add to the aesthetic and possibly win some awards along the way!
Steven McIldowie, Director at McIldowie Partners