Burn rubber, break concrete

Plans for the MOP300 million (US$37.55 million) construction and remodelling work to revamp the Grand Prix Museum will begin next year, following a public tender opening “at the beginning of next year,” says Macao Government Tourist Office Director (MGTO) Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes.
The expected result of the remodel, which will expand the current approximately 2,000 square metres into 12,000 metres of usable space, as well as the addition of new facilities, is a significant increase; last year, the museum attracted 195,212 visitors.
“It’s difficult to compare the current number of visitors [with the potential number] but I would expect at least double or triple the amount of visitors we’re currently receiving,” the MGTO Director said at a conference detailing the tentative plans for the building.
The first step in the process, according to the flowchart, will be ‘demolition of internal walls and all the existing finishing of walls, pavements, terraces, parapets and ceilings’. Plans for the project will maintain the current base and be linked to the existing structure – according to descriptions provided during the press conference.
This will help to avoid over MOP100,000 in upcoming maintenance costs for a variety of issues including water infiltration and excessive energy consumption, to be curbed by new building materials and eco-friendly machinery.
The museum currently houses 38 vehicles, including motorcycles, F3 cars and touring cars but the MGTO Director said that the group will be working in concert with other entities in sourcing vehicles for the museum in order to help rotate content.
“It seems to me that there are museums for automobile manufacturers but not exactly those for Grands Prix,” commented the Director, bringing up the possibility of working with museums, car manufacturers, or even racing teams as well as procuring donations from willing benefactors.
The group is conducting studies with groups such as the Macau Automobile Association (Automóvel Clube de Macau) to determine the best way to proceed, noted the MGTO head.
The deadline set for the project is the 65th Macau Grand Prix, occurring in late November 2018. Only after the launch of the public tender will the final construction budget be defined. The current cap set for the construction side of the renovation – MOP300 million – is based on a per metre calculation for the area, at a base rate of MOP19,000 for construction works per square metre, with total construction area, including outdoor areas of the building, amounting to 16,000 square metres.
The area will include the building’s basement area – currently occupied by the Macau Wine Museum, the majority of the ground floor – minus the Lusitanos restaurant, and the first and second floors as well as a further outdoor roof segment dedicated to equipment and machinery.
The MGTO Director expressed interest in using new technology installations in the project but is waiting in order not to install out-of-date equipment, given the project’s deadline of two years in the future.
“Because of this [the 2018 opening date] we don’t want to limit ourselves, now in 2016, in terms of new technology to be installed in the museum,” said the Director, with a particular mention of racing simulators suitable for both family and professional racing use.