Forest Green Rovers Stadium

A stadium embedded within a woodland forest which embraces ecological construction and maintenance systems to create a sustainable building run on renewable energy

Our design for this competition came from combining the beautiful surrounding landscape in which the stadium would nestle with the anticipation and excitement gained from entering a football stadium before a match. 

Our aim was to design a stadium that enhances its immediate context and the wider context of its place in the valley, set against the escarpment. The stadium would sit on a rammed earth mound to provide a rake for the seating, and fans would enter through tunnels and elevated walkways to experience or admire the woodland setting.

We also wanted to ensure the building used as many local and sustainable materials as possible, encouraged the fans and local communities to contribute to the design and used renewable energy. We wanted to create a fabulous, unique, theatrical experience for FGR fans; making a new ground that they can call home and be proud of. 

It was also important to create a ground that would embody the ethos of Ecotricity, the owner of which also owns Forest Green Rovers FC, a club which holds true to the values of sustainability and respecting our planet; so providing a recognisable public image for the company.

Imagery: Millar + Howard Workshop

Project Challenges

Could a football stadium be built from all natural materials

Ensuring the acutely environmentally friendly client’s ethos of sustainability and small carbon footprint were adhered to in the build.

How to site a large building in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Ensuring not only planning was permitted but the impact on the landscape would be enhanced and not hindered.

How to create a sense of excitement around visiting a building

Harnessing the energy of football fans in anticipation of a good result before a match, and creating a building that was exciting to approach and be within.

How We Met the Client’s Requirements

We proposed rammed earth and a timber frame for the main structures

These natural, sustainable materials, locally sourced would have a low carbon footprint and by being used in such a prominent building would be a great educational tool for advocating the environmental considerations of new, large, community structures.

We suggested placing the stadium within a glade to integrate it into the landscape

Building a bank around the site and planting lots of indeginous trees surrounding it, lowers the building’s impact on the view from the escarpment. Hiding the building amongst trees, allows for glimpses of the building to be seen at ground level so it doesn’t reveal itself in one go, creating intrigue.

We designed tunnels and elevated walkways to enter through and treehouse-like viewing boxes

Creating a sense of discovery, tantalizing visitors as they approach the building. Some elevated tree-house shaped boxes harking back to the emperor’s box at gladiatorial stadiums while also reminiscent of a youngster’s secret den would also create a child-like sense of fun.

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