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The new generation of stadiums
Over the next few years, two of London’s top football clubs will receive multi-million pound renovations to their home grounds and surrounding areas. Plans for Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge are still in the approval stage but work at Tottenham’s White Hart Lane is already underway. The construction work at Stamford Bridge is anticipated to start later this year and complete in 2020.
White Hart Lane
Tottenham’s upgrade comes after 10 years of planning. The stadium, built in 1899, has undergone many redevelopments over the years. The new stadium will make Tottenham the largest club ground in London and is scheduled to be complete in the summer of 2018.
With a waiting list of season ticket holders totalling around 50,000, Tottenham is under pressure to up their seating supply in line with the demands. The £500m renovation project will increase their capacity to 61,000 from just over 36,200.
The plans for this new stadium include a 17,000 single-tier south stand, which is being designed by popular stadium architects Populous, who were also behind Wembley and the Olympic stadium. But there’s much more to the upgrade than simply some additional seats.
Within the ground, there will be some features for the more daring; a ‘sky walk’ over the stadium and the world’s highest indoor climbing wall. The ground will also host two National Football League (NFL - American Football) games for the next 10 years. For this reason, the stadium will feature a state-of-the-art fully retractable AstroTurf pitch, which will sit underneath a natural turf surface for English football.
Outside of the ground, the surrounding area will undergo significant development including a property development of around 580 flats and a hotel. An architecturally stunning new three-story terrace on the High Road will host ‘The Tottenham Experience’, featuring an interactive museum to celebrate club history and local heritage as well as a cinema, new Club shopping experience (the largest store area of any football club in Europe) and an Arrivals Hub, where visitors can collect tickets and access the stadium tour.
Chelsea has resided in their Stamford Bridge home since 1905 and the club’s history will remain firmly rooted in this location following the decision to redevelop the ground on the existing West London site, rather than sourcing an alternative plot to build on.
The renovation will take the capacity of the stadium from 41,000 to 60,000 at a proposed cost of £600m. But it is the unique architectural design which is getting people talking. Designed by the architects behind the iconic Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, Herzog & de Meuron, the new Chelsea stadium will be just as striking.
Inspired by Westminster Abbey, 264 brick columns will surround the stadium, referencing the local brick architecture. The columns will support a steel ring above the pitch, covering an increased number of seats and decorative metal will run across glass between the columns to enhance the aesthetics.
The new design brings with it architectural interest and improved spectator experience, ensuring every spectator has an unobstructed view of the pitch. Outside of the stadium, a fourth phase of the redevelopment will see a new restaurant, club shop and museum added to the surrounding area.
What does Stuart Minchin, Divisional Manager – Water & Environment and Buildings, make of these stadiums and what kind of employment opportunities will they create?
“The plans for these London clubs represent a new generation of stadium design which is catered to the needs of the surrounding community. With no signs of passion being lost in the game, these increased capacity football stadiums are built to accommodate the fans on existing waiting lists and the fans of the future. They are also designed in a way that increases their capability to host several types of event, which is an important stream of revenue for the clubs.”
“To design and construct stadiums of this size, the companies involved will look to hire a range of skills, and at the top of that list will be professionals with Project Management qualifications. They will also look to hire Contract Managers, Site Managers, Commercial Managers and Safety Managers as well as Planners, Quality Engineers and Document Controllers.”