The Indianapolis Motor Speedway completed one of its largest renovations in its 107-year history, just in time for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May of 2016. Project 100 included $92 million of renovations that included a brand new entrance to replace the old gate that has been at the track since 1909.
Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, an Indianapolis-based architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and planning firm, envisioned and designed the new entry sequence into the historic facilities that also serves as a flexible and programmable public open space. Gate 1 Plaza spans more than a mile along the western edge of the track. The new entry gate and forecourt to the plaza is open to the public 365 days a year, providing photo opportunities and areas to congregate while the IMS facilities are not in use.
In keeping with the iconic architecture of the IMS Pagoda and surrounding facilities, the entry gate and site furnishings utilize steel and concrete to pay homage to the greater facility. Pedestrian seating, lighting, green infrastructure and wayfinding elements all geared towards enhancing the fan’s progression into the track, are utilized within the new plaza scheme. Using contextual materials that were once used to build the motor speedway, the entry plaza aims to be historically sensitive to the traditions and past times of the track while providing new opportunities and new experiences for race fans in the future.
Eco-Promenade® plank style custom pavers, used in the plaza, are designed to allow rainwater to return below grade as part of the green infrastructure. The Series™ finish on the pavers, made of natural granite and quartz aggregates, offers speckles of color and sparking, that only become more beautiful as the product is exposed to outdoor elements. This unique surface texture provides outstanding long-term surface durability and performance.
“We just really wanted to celebrate what the Indianapolis Motor Speedway means. So, when people are driving down Crawfordsville Road day or night, they cannot miss the fact that they are driving into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway,” speedway president Doug Boles said