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All posts tagged Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP)

Two architecture firms have won through to the final of a competition to design Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium in Gloucestershire. Glenn Howells Architects and Zaha Hadid Architects were selected from nine shortlisted candidates, based on almost 50 entries from around the world.

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Forest Green Rovers (FGR FC) have launched an international competition to design them an iconic new football stadium.

The new stadium will be the centrepiece of the GBP£100m development dubbed Eco Park – a 100-acre sports and green technology business park proposal beside junction 13 of the M5 in Gloucestershire – which is being proposed by green energy company Ecotricity.

Dale Vince, FGR Chairman, said:

This is the start of a very exciting process for us – we’ll be looking for radical, fan-focused stadium designs.

Sustainability will be key: we expect that to run through the core of the design, as through a stick of rock.

There are two aspects of that sustainability – first, it’s about sustainable construction, in terms of the material used, and second, it’s about the long term operational stability of the stadium.

We’re starting with a blank sheet of paper. We’ve taken the sustainability concept as far as we could at The New Lawn, our current stadium, and we learned a lot at the same time about what’s possible in a retrofit situation – now we want to push the boundaries with a design from scratch.

The competition will be held in three stages – after the initial entries, the judges will select a shortlist of eight designers, who’ll be asked to produce concepts. From these, FGR will select two finalists, who will be awarded an honorarium – and they will work up their ideas in further detail, including the production of a scale model. The winning design will be unveiled in September.

Half of Eco Park will consist of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the new stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, multi-disciplinary facilities that will be open to the public, 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 Ecotricity, which is already the biggest employer in Stroud with 700 people located across four sites in the town centre.

The final element of the proposal is a nature reserve located on the west side of the M5. The overall concept also includes the potential development of a public transport hub, including a Stroud Park & Ride, and will also see Ecotricity help with the restoration of the Stroudwater canal under the M5.

Vince continued:

Eco Park is going to be a place where green businesses and technology companies come together and share ideas, a real focal point of creativity and innovation for the area – and a part of the green industrial revolution that’s beginning to take off around the world.

While there can only be one winner of the competition, we expect to find good people through the process who we might work with on the business park too – so this competition should lead to further opportunities for radical sustainable designs.

Design competition notes:

The club has appointed Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP), one of the UK’s leading sports stadia experts, to oversee the competition.

The brief challenges architects to design a winning entry that will be “bold and innovative and designed to the highest architectural and sustainability standards,” as well as “sustainable and future-proof”.

Entrants have until the end of April to make their initial submission.

For further entry and competition details, interested parties should email: ecoparkcomp@fwp.uk.com

Ambitious owner Andy Holt has hailed a new era at Accrington Stanley after the club put forward plans for a multi-million redevelopment of the Wham Stadium.

Holt has been in talks with Hyndburn Council since he took over the League Two club in October last year about securing a new lease on the ground.

Terms have been agreed on a 50-year lease and now plans are in to begin the first phase of the proposed development, which is a new 1,500-capacity all-seater stand.

The new stand, to be built down the Whinney Hill side of the ground, will have modern spectator facilities in the concourse and the potential to be split to accommodate home and away supporters.

The single-tier stand is also future-proofed with the possibility of adding corporate entertainment boxes and facilities built into its design.

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The present stadium has a capacity of just over 5,000 and that figure is planned to remain the same under the redevelopment plan.

Holt, who owns What More Ltd, which are the main sponsors of the Reds, said:

We have been working together with the council and local community and looking at a substantial investment that will improve the entire area.

We will create community facilities that should make the whole area something the people of Accrington can be proud of.

It will be also a major boost for football fans coming to the Wham Stadium and improve their match day experience.

Council Leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, said:

This is great news.

These are exciting times for Accrington Stanley as the plans will herald a new era for the club. This proposal to grant Accrington Stanley a new 50-year commercial lease, which is subject to Cabinet approval on 23rd March, will see the start of huge investment into the club by main sponsors What More Ltd, which are set to modernise and vastly improve facilities for the fans and the community.

Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) has been selected to carry out the work, due to their wealth of experience working on successful and innovative football ground redevelopments.

Neil Ainsworth, a partner at FWP, and who is leading the design team on the project, said:

We are all excited by the potential to create a modern, vibrant new home for one of the most instantly recognised names in the footballing world.

Having designed and built around 60 new stadiums and facilities for clubs up and down the leagues and the country, we know what works best for each club and how to make the new ground a real asset to the club, its fans and the town.