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New stadiums kick off across London

Nick Myall
Thursday 19 Jan 2017

As new football stadiums rapidly develop across London and the UK, opportunities for architects and engineers continue to arise

With a wave of new football stadiums being completed or in progress across the UK and London the latest plans for Chelsea Football Club have been given the greenlight. Herzog & de Meuron’s planned new stadium has been recommended for approval by Hammersmith & Fulham Council with work potentially starting later this year.

Plans for the west London stadium were submitted in December 2015, proposing a three-tier, four-stand, bowl with a capacity of 60,000 compared with the current 41,837. The announcement comes as Tottenham Hotspur Football Club continue to build a 61,000 seat new home, designed by Populous, to the north of their current White Hart Lane ground and West Ham United settle into their new home at the converted Olympic Stadium in Stratford. 

Both Chelsea and Tottenham’s new grounds have been positioned on or near their current homes after searches for alternative sites in the highly developed London area proved fruitless. 

Elsewhere in London, Brentford Football Club are also developing a new ground and QPR and Wimbledon FC continue to pursue new schemes.

Chelsea’s new ground will be enclosed by 264 brick piers, which will rise up and over spectators to support a circular steel ring connected to radial steel roof trusses, 50m above the bowl. The spaces between the piers will create entrance halls and sheltered arcades at ground level.

The recommendation to approve Chelsea’s plans comes after the local authority studied the plans for over a year, with the council writing to the club at the end of June to request more details on environmental and design impacts of the £600m scheme.

In a report to the planning applications committee, case officer John Sanchez praised the architects plans saying ‘Herzog & de Meuron had produced a singular high-quality design solution from a difficult brief and a complex site [with] the overall permeability of the scheme conveying a lightness of touch for a building of substantial scale’.

Further afield, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid and Valencia are also developing new grounds.

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Nick Myall

News editor

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