Search results for "soccer"

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Out of their League?

New lawn, new dawn: Zaha Hadid Architects designs all-wood stadium for UK soccer minnows Forest Green Rovers
In many ways, it's fitting that a team who was the world's first all-vegan soccer club and has the word "Forest" in their name should play in a stadium made entirely of wood. That is about to become a reality for U.K. hipster soccer minnows (think minor league) Forest Green Rovers from the sleepy town of Nailsworth, Gloucestershire in West England thanks to Zaha Hadid Architects' (ZHA) all-timber design. Their current stadium called "The New Lawn" (a name born when terracing was added in the 1950s; previously the "stadium" was merely just a lawn and named accordingly as "The Lawn") can be found on a road called Another Way. And another way is on the horizon. While one yearns for ZHA's design to be called "The New New Lawn," the stadium will predictably be known as "Eco Park Stadium"—perhaps an unsurprising choice in the age of stadia bearing their financier's namesake, which in this case is local green energy firm, Ecotricity. The stadium will be the focal point of the $124 million "Eco Park" development which comprises 100 acres worth of space dedicated to sports and green technology. Alongside the stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub will form one-half of the site. Meanwhile, a green technology business park, housing commercial offices and light industrial units, will form the other. Ecotricity's proposal also includes work being done on the site's nature reserve and the nearby Stroudwater canal as well as the potential addition of a public transport hub. While the prime stadium naming opportunity was passed up, hopes of the stadium being placed on a road within the development called "The Other Way," or at least something that references the team's quirkily-named origins, remain un-dashed. As for ZHA's design, the structure will be first all-timber stadium in the world. The typically undulating Hadid style can be seen in the stadium's roof design. Such a style, however, is not uncommon in contemporary stadia where similarly curving roofscapes are used as acoustic devices to contain crowd noise. Since the devastating Bradford City FC stadium fire of 1985, timber has been largely ignored as a material for stadium design, especially in the realm of British soccer despite advancements in fire retardant treatments. The stadium will have a capacity of 5,000. Forest Green Rovers' current home ground actually offers room for 5,140 though only 2,000 of this is seated. The team has never been a member of the professional Football League in the U.K., but has made exceptionally steady progress (40 years without any relegations) from floundering in unheard of Hellenic Football League Premier Division to the Conference National League–one tier away from prized professional football where the minimum capacity requirement stands at 5,000. Club Chairman Dale Vince has green-fingered ambition. He has been turning the club into one the most eco-friendly soccer teams around since he became a major shareholder in 2010. Since then, numerous solar panels have been installed on the team's current stadium while an organic soccer pitch (another world-first) is kept trim by a solar-powered robot grass mower. However, in terms of soccer, at their current rate of progression, the dizzying heights of the Premier League is only 68 years away. "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," said Director at ZAH, Jim Heverin. “With the team’s community and supporters at its core, fans will be as close as five meters from the pitch and every seat has been calculated to provide unrestricted sightlines to the entire field of play. The stadium’s continuous spectator bowl surrounding the pitch will maximize matchday atmosphere." A stadium solely designed for soccer playing will also be welcome news for fans. As London club West Ham United recently found out, multipurpose stadia–often with seating miles away from the pitch–are bereft of atmosphere. As a result, one expert has called for the former Olympic Park stadium to be knocked down. A successful precedent, though, for bespoke soccer-orientated stadia can be seen in Herzog & de Meuron's Allianz Arena for Bayern Munich in Germany where crown proximity, circulation, and acoustics are at the forefront of the design. ZHA's design also follows in Herzog & de Meuron's footsteps in its use of an unconventional material for a stadium—a phenomenon which appears be on the rise for the U.K. soccer typology. Herzog and de Meuron's bold brick design for Chelsea FC also strays away from the explicitly tectonic approach almost always donned by stadia in the recent past. This style is even more prevalent in the U.K. in the wake of the Taylor Report whereby stadium safety was once hot on the agenda and thus expressed aesthetically.
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Five-Year Goal

New York City to get 50 new soccer pitches as part of $3 million plan

New York City's five boroughs are in line to take a share of 50 new soccer fields over the next five years courtesy of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Adidas, city government, and New York City F.C. The project, with an expected cost of $3 million, aligns with the aims of the U.S. Soccer Foundation to boost participation in healthy activities among youths.

According to the New York Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to name Millbrook Playground in the South Bronx as the location for the first of eight fields. Here, a rundown play area will make way for an artificial pitch comprised of synthetic fibers which will be able to be used all year round. Other fields will also be placed in and around various depressed neighborhoods as the projects hopes to reach out to up to 10,000 children.

The fields are due to come to $750,000—a figure that will be offered by the four partners—meanwhile the rest of the total amount will go to maintaining the fields and extracurricular activities that will take place there.

“The city and public have skin in the game, and the private companies have skin in the game, so it’s a way to build bridges throughout our city that is very significant,” said Gabrielle Fialkoff, the director of the New York CityOffice of Strategic Partnerships, told the Times. “When you couple those private resources with the scale and breadth of our city agencies, innovative solutions can happen in a way that public systems can’t do by themselves.”

With underserved communal spaces, having been identified for soccer field placement, first in line are Cypress Hills Houses in Brooklyn, the Eagle Academy on Staten Island, Public School 83 in Manhattan, and Millbrook Playground.

New York City F.C., Major League Soccer's most recent franchise, is still on the hunt for a soccer field of their own. Currently ground sharing with the New York Yankees, president of the club, Jon Patricof, said the team were still looking in all five boroughs for a new place to call home. “For us, this is not about what happens on our match days,” Patricof said. “For us, this is about our commitment to the sport and all the positive things soccer can do for kids and their families.”
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Replacing Welton Becket's 1959 L.A. Sports Arena

L.A.’s new soccer stadium is one step closer to being shovel-ready
Gensler’s proposal the Los Angeles Football Club’s (LAFC) $250 million stadium complex in South L.A. moved one step closer to becoming a reality this week when the L.A. City Council “unanimously approved” the final Environmental Impact Report for the 22,000 seat stadium project. The sports arena is expected to be the most expensive privately-financed soccer stadium in the country. Like many new urban stadium proposals, LAFC’s stadium is also set to feature sidewalk-adjacent restaurants, office space, a conference area, as well as a soccer museum alongside its more traditional sports programming. The new stadium for the as-yet-unnamed franchise will replace the outmoded and unloved L.A. Sports Arena, a 1959 Welton Becket-designed, elliptical transverse steel truss roof-clad spaceship of a building. That structure has been the home for the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers professional basketball teams as well as University of Southern California’s and University of California, Los Angeles’s college basketball teams in the past. It has also hosted concerts by Pink Floyd, Madonna, Michael Jackson, and the Grateful Dead. The L.A. Sports Arena held its final event in March when Bruce Springsteen performed there to a sold-out concert. Demolition of the L.A. Sports Arena is set to begin in June of this year. The new stadium is expected to open in 2018.
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With the Rams leaving town, SPACE Architecture speculates on a St. Louis pro soccer stadium
St. Louis–based SPACE Architecture + Design has release a series of renderings for a speculative Major League Soccer (MLS) stadium for downtown St. Louis. This proposal comes in the wake of news that the NFL’s St. Louis Rams football team would be leaving St. Louis for Los Angeles, and subsequently not building a new stadium along the Mississippi River. Sports buzz has picked up again about a possible MLS team making its home in the city. Since the news that the city would be losing the professional football team, MLS Commissioner Don Garber and State Governor Jay Nixon  have continued to discuss the possibility of an expansion team in St. Louis. SPACE initiated the discussion of what a major league stadium would look like within their office two years ago when rumors of MLS’s interest in the city started to spread and fans began grassroots efforts to attract a team. In a discussion with AN, Alex Ihnen of SPACE explained the office’s motivations behind preemptively presenting the city with a stadium plan. “We think too often politicians and people who are excited think about money, they think about how we are going to pay for this, where do the taxes come from," he said. "That is their domain, but our domain as architects is to figure out how can this add to the city, which is bigger. It is important to get out ahead of this” The offices proposal involves a sunken field directly south of the historic Union Station. Union Station itself is under redevelopment. Located along Clark Street, SPACE envisions its proposal as a part possible downtown sports corridor, which would include the Major League Baseball Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals and the Scottrade Center, home of the National Hockey League’s St. Louis Blues. And though the proposal is an unsolicited speculation, the discussion of funding a stadium is already being taken seriously by state legislators. A ballot initiative has been presented by State Rep. Keith English to incur a one tenth of one percent sales tax in St. Louis and St. Louis County. The bill is written as to try and avoid a similar fiasco as the current Rams stadium, Edward Jones Dome, which has not been fully paid for despite the team leaving the city.
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A Detroit soccer team asks fans to crowdfund historic stadium rehabilitation
“City ‘til I Die” is the motto of the Detroit City Football Club (DCFC), a member of the National Premier Soccer League, the largest soccer league in the U.S. Now, the team is asking its fans to put their money where their motto is to help restore a historic neighborhood soccer stadium. DDFC is looking for a new home now that their fan base has outgrown their current home field, Cass Tech High School Stadium, just outside of downtown Detroit, “The success of the 2015 season saw us turning away people at the gates," DCFC co-owner Alex Wright said at the launch of the teams ambitious funding campaign. "It was a clear sign DCFC is ready to take the next step, and grow as an organization. Come spring of 2016, Keyworth Stadium will be the home field both our supporters and the residents of Hamtramck deserve.” The Keyworth Stadium Wright refers to is a small neighborhood stadium that is currently owned and used by the Hamtramck public school system. Hamtramck is a small city that is nearly completely surrounded by the city of Detroit, and sits five miles north of the downtown. The low concrete stadium sits directly in the neighborhood with small bungalows coming right up to its outer walls. As the first major Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the Detroit area, Franklin D. Roosevelt was on hand to dedicate the stadium in October 1936. Now in great need of restoration, DCFC has an unorthodox plan to raise the needed funds to save the 80 year old stadium. Leveraging new state legislation, DCFC is looking to its fans to help finance the estimated $3 million it will take to fully rehabilitate Keyworth Stadium. Under the Michigan Invests Locally Exemption (MILE) Act, local businesses are able to receive investments from Michigan residents anywhere from $250 to $10,000. This means that individual fans are able to lend money to the team in order to move the stadium project forward. Investors will then be paid back with interest from team revenues. This model of fundraising is a stark contrast to how many sports teams use tax payer money to fund stadium projects, and DCFC is very proud of this. Wright points out, “On our way to saving history, Michigan residents will have the opportunity to make history, by joining us to complete what we believe to be the largest community-financed project in U.S. sports history." The funding project, run on MichiganFunders.com, is hoping to raise $750,000 to add to the team's own funds. Improvements to the stadium will include much needed structural reinforcement to the grandstands, new bathrooms, locker rooms, lights, and press box. A first phase to bring the stadium up to usable standards is expected to be complete by April 2016. When finished, the stadium will hold between 6,000 and 7,000 fans, which is more than double the capacity of the Cass Tech stadium.
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Definitely not a library: Herzog & De Meuron unveils new stadium for Chelsea soccer club in London

British soccer team Chelsea FC has submitted plans to the local authorities to construct a new 60,000-seat stadium at Stamford Bridge, their current home ground. The proposal, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, brings with it a price tag of $750 million. The Swiss duo are known for their stadia designs, notably with the Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing, the Allianz Arena in Munich, and a wispy venue in Bordeaux.

As part of the application, the club will demolish the current playing arena along with the surrounding buildings which include a hotel and an array of restaurants. The submission will be reviewed by Hammersmith & Fulham Council who has have said they will accept comments regarding the new stadium up until 8 January, 2016.

According to the club website the development will create "an outstanding view of the stadium from every seat" and "an arena designed to create an exciting atmosphere," something Stamford Bridge is known for lacking. Away fans have regularly (and easily) been heard taunting, "Is this a library?" Aside from this, the new stadium will also offer "direct access to and from Fulham Broadway Station, making travel more efficient stadium facilities improved for every area."

Transport facilities will be boosted with excavation work and the addition of larger station entrances, along with new decking platforms over the District Line (underground) and the overground mainline railway services. During construction, Chelsea will either play at Wembley in North West London, or Twickenham rugby stadium which is much further West.

Capacity, however, is the club's main priority. Currently at 41,837, which is relatively meagre compared to the likes of competitive rivals Manchester United (75,731), Arsenal (60,362) and Manchester City (55,097), both the club and the fans want more. Even Newcastle United and Aston Villa who (at the time of writing) sit at the bottom of the table boast higher capacity stadia, holding 52,409 and 42,788 respectively.

Sixty thousand still seems relatively small, especially when you compare to 1935, when an attendance of 82,905 (standing) piled in to watch Chelsea vs. Arsenal. Space, though, is hard to come by in West London. Perhaps then, this will suffice, especially when you consider that Chelsea has already attempted previous avenues for expansion, notably with the Billion dollar Battersea Power Station proposal which they were pipped to by a Malaysian property developer.

Chelsea FC, so far, can claim the crown of being the only professional London club to have never relocated with Stamford Bridge being their home since 1905. Back then the prolific stadium architect, Archibald Leitch added Chelsea to his growing portfolio and later on, KSS Design group developed the stadium, essentially making it what it is today. Oddly West London neighbors and rivals Queens Park Rangers are the most nomadic football club in London, having relocated 16 times.

Other commentators have told AN that the decision is speculative one given Chelsea's recent demise in their domestic Premier League.

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After nine years, MVRDV reclaims architecture’s coveted ArchiCup, beating Mecanoo, West 8, OMA, and others an the annual soccer matchup
After a seemingly never ending nine-year wait, Dutch architecture firm MVRDV finally reclaimed the ArchiCup in Rotterdam after a contentious soccer matchup. https://vimeo.com/139137485 Organized by GROUPA and Bekkering Adams Architects the competition was hosted at the Henegouwerplein in Rotterdam. Despite the questionable playing surface, MVRDV reigned victorious over bitter rivals Power House Company causing scenes of jubilation as they launched their captain into the air. Other teams included Broek Bakema, De Zwarte Hond, Hoogstad, Groosman, KCAP, Mecanoo, Nov '82, OMA, West 8, ZUS and RAVB.
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Miami Architects Add Visual Weight to City’s Major League Soccer Quest
A lack of a viable stadium had been seen as a key hole in Miami's efforts to welcome a Major League Soccer franchise. Now local firm Arquitectonica has stepped in to fill that void, collaborating with 360 Architecture to design a potential waterfront soccer venue. The campaign has a rather dashing face in the form of soccer-star David Beckham, who has provided vocal and financial backing for the plan and apparently played active role in the design concept and siting of the proposed stadium. Beckham asked the architects to embrace the notion of water and beach as key elements of the idea of Miami, a consideration that seems to have manifested itself in the wavy amorphous forms of the building. Arquitectonica principal Bernardo Fort-Brescia sees the stadium as a cog in the ongoing development of the Port of Miami, which was selected from a list of 30 locations under consideration. Hotels and office buildings are other new additions seen flanking the stadium in preliminary renderings. Realization of the team is still a ways away, but co-owner Marcelo Claure set an optimistic 2017 date for an MLS debut. Despite the renderings, a waterfront address is no guarantee as negotiations regarding stadium locale are ongoing with Miami-Dade County and Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. The city's entry will be preceded by Northern neighbors Orlando, who plan to have the woefully-named Orlando City SC ready to join the league by 2015. New York is also set to welcome a second team next year, though their search for a permanent home has been beset by controversy. Delays may force the team to debut in a temporary venue while more lasting arrangements are made.
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Real Revelation: Madrid’s New Soccer Stadium
Spanish soccer franchise Real Madrid has revealed plans for a drastic reshaping of its iconic Santiago Bernabeau stadium. The plan entails sheathing the existing structure in a curvaceous titanium facade that will also add a hotel, a shopping and leisure center, and an underground car park. The new skin also adds a retractable roof to the stadium. German firm GMP Architekten will be heading the project joined by locals L35 Architects and, in a crossing of party-lines, Barcelona-based Ribas & Ribas. The lines of the exterior are meant to respond to shifting sunlight patterns by day and play host to LED light displays by night. One amorphous face will act as a screen for large-scale media projections. The innermost portion of the new roof will be translucent, allowing natural light to filter onto the playing surface and past the 360° screen that hangs directly beneath The included hotel is set to feature rooms offering direct views of the pitch. L35 managing partner Tristán López-Chicheri claims that the club's history of recruiting costly star players acted as an inspiration for the new design: "the idea of excellence was another strong inspiration. The ‘galactic heroes’ of real madrid made us think of a polished gemstone, a magic skin with a changing light and color hues that actually protects a treasure." The assignment necessitates that construction not interfere with play, and despite its relatively high-tech qualities and irregular forms, large sections of the new structure can be shop-assembled offsite. GMP Architekten have extensive experience with projects of this nature, having already designed three stadiums for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and two structures for this summer's Brazilian iteration of the tournament. A completion date has been tentatively set for 2017 with a $537 million price tag slapped on the project. How a club supposedly saddled with almost $800 million in debt can afford such an expense is unclear, though their current financial straits have done little to curb the recruitment of evermore expensive galactic heroes (galacticos) that might serve as future inspiration for another multimillion dollar renovation. In the spirit of competition, Madrid's presentation comes in the wake of Barcelona's announcement for costly, though more stylistically modest, updates to their own stadium, a Nou-er Camp, if you will.
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Major League Soccer Responds to SHoP’s Leaked Stadium Renderings
Last year, plans were floated to build a new $300 million, 25,000-seat, Major League Soccer stadium in Queens' Flushing Meadows Corona Park, to be designed by SHoP Architects. Because of the contentious nature of using public park land to build a stadium, the project had remained out of public view, but early conceptual renderings were leaked by the Empire of Soccer blog following a lecture by SHoP principal Gregg Pasquarelli at Columbia University. According to Empire of Soccer, in a video of the lecture posted and since removed from Youtube, Pasquarelli is heard saying, "The project I’m not supposed to show (you) so I am not going to tell you where it is or what it is but it’s a new stadium that should be announced in the next couple of months." He described the facility as a new type of stadium without walls. According to Capital New York, MLS president Mark Abbott denied that the proposed stadium would look like the renderings and that SHoP may not be designing the final stadium, stating: "These drawings do not represent what they stadium will look like. In fact, we haven't selected an architect yet and will not start the design process until we have an owner for the club. This was simply a concept drawing that was done only to help determine the potential height and footprint. Any assertion that these drawings represent what a stadium will look like in Queens is wrong.
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Architects Propose Carving a Soccer Stadium Into Mountains Near Abu Dhabi
A new sports stadium designed by Lebanon’s MZ Architects, though experimental, differs from the glitz and glam we've become accustomed to seeing from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Instead of showing off with dramatic curves and shiny glass, the proposed "Rock Stadium" would be buried in the Al Ain desert and will work with the natural elements, being concealed by the its rocky landscape. Situated within the Jebel Hafeet mountain range, the 660,000-square foot, 40,000-seat “Rock Stadium” is carved into its mountainous backdrop, also using using local rock to mimic the desert’s unique patterns and innate character. From a distance the stadium blurs into its background, but up close visitors are led through grand passageways inspired by the Greek temple of Anahita leading down to the hidden green playing field. At night, beams of light would illuminate the sky above the stadium, becoming an emblem for national events and activity. Architects worked with a team of geologists, stone specialists, and cave experts to determine the project's feasibility. "The original thought was to build a stand-alone stadium but, when I saw the site, I knew it would be perfect to carve into the mountain," architect Marwan Zgheib told The National. "I think it is the dream of every architect to work on a design which focuses on sustainability through design more than through technology." While the Rock Stadium is still only a proposal, Zgheib hopes it could eventually be built. Already, the project won an Emirates Glass LEAF award for Best Future Building recognizing top global design in September. No construction timeline has been announced.
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Happy New Year!

New Year’s edition: Best architecture news of 2018
Missed some of this week's architecture news, or our tweets and Facebook posts from the last year? Don’t sweat it—we’ve gathered the must-read roundups right here. Enjoy! Egads! Here are the top architecture scandals and controversies of 2018 As 2018 closes out, check out the top controversies that shocked, shook, and rattled the architecture world (and our readers) this year. Let’s kick it: Here are the top sports architecture stories of 2018 Our most popular sports stories of the year tell us that soccer is on the rise in the United States, as well as sustainable stadium design. You said it! Presenting the best reader comments of 2018 People say all kinds of things, but we rounded up our favorite witticisms and notable appearances in The Architect's Newspaper's comments. 2018 was the year of the pyramid What ancient shape, so simple and yet prevalent throughout the history of architecture, captured AN's imagination in 2018? It was all about the pyramid. Announcing the winners of the 2018 AN Best of Design Awards We are proud to announce the winners of 2018's AN Best of Design Awards. Congratulations to all of our winners and honorable mentions!