Zaha Hadid Architects has won in the International architectural design competition for the Forest Green Rovers Football Stadium which has the structure almost entirely from wood.
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Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Nailsworth, United Kingdom
The project will be the centrepiece of the £100million Eco Park development – Ecotricity’s 100 acre sports and green technology business park proposal, beside junction 13 of the M5 in Gloucestershire. Half of Eco Park will consist of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the new stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub.
The other half will comprise a green technology business park with sustainably built commercial offices and light industrial units, giving Eco Park the potential to create up to 4,000 jobs, including room for the continued expansion of green energy company Ecotricity, who have submitted the overall proposal and who are already the biggest employer in Stroud with 700 people located across four sites.
The proposal will also see the development of a nature reserve on the site, a potential public transport hub, including a Stroud Park and Ride, as well as help with the restoration of the Stroudwater canal. The stadium’s design incorporates the club’s future growth. Initially for 5,000 spectators, increasing to 10,000 with the club’s success, expansion from phase 1 to phase 2 can be achieved without the costs of major construction works.
"Zaha Hadid Architects has built some fantastic sports stadia and facilities around the world, including one at the Olympic Park in London, they’ve designed one of the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, and now they’ve designed one for Forest Green. The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be almost entirely made of wood – the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world. The importance of wood is not only that it’s naturally occurring, it has very low embodied carbon – about as low as it gets for a building material." From Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers chairman.
Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA, said: "We are very proud be selected to design the new home for Forest Green Rovers that will not only be a new stadium but also an important addition for the community. The club’s heritage, ambition and vision reflect our own, combining the latest material research and construction techniques with new design approaches to build a more ecologically sustainable and inclusive architecture. Forest Green Rovers have established a holistic vision for the site to retain its pastoral qualities whilst adding new facilities for the town. While the stadium will be the centrepiece, the project creates a new public realm with both recreational and occupational uses, enabling the entire site to contribute to the town – not only on match days, but every day of the year. The design retains and enhances the existing meadow landscape of the site whilst adding the stadium and other functions for the town. Embodying low carbon construction methods and operational processes, it will be the first all timber football stadium with almost every element made of sustainably sourced timber including its structure, roof cantilevers and louvered cladding. As a building material, timber is highly durable, recyclable and beautiful. The proximity of the stadium’s structural elements to each other has also been determined to enable the seating terraces and floor slab to be made from timber. In most other stadiums, these elements are concrete or steel."
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