Project Introduction and Brief
Nostalgia - a term describing sentimentality for the past. Thoughts for a period or place with happy personnal associations of personalities, events and the ‘good old days’. It is the essence of Nostalgia - touch, smell, music, sound and surroundings which give us recollections and memories which allow us in the most to look back fondly on the events and places we have enjoyed.
On an architectural platform, nostalgia evokes memories of places we have been and enjoyed and often makes us want to hold on the memories through the preservation of a particular place.
The New Nottingham Forest Football Club home stadium was designed as a response to my 6th year CDP design brief and refers to my technical appraisal document (TAw). The stadium concept was developed over the year in response to my design concept investigation and site and contextual strategies. This document will aim to explain the key technical and conceptual aspects which underpin the design of the stadium and associated buildings.
As started in the TAw Nottingham Forest are currently a English Championship (Second Tier) football club who have resided at the City Ground on the South Bank of the River Trent just outside the boundary of Nottingham for over 100 years. Over the years the stadium has grown in an ad hoc kind of way which has resulted in an interesting and beautiful stadium which has captured many momentous occasions over the years. Unfortunately football has moved on and the facilities have become outdated and as a club trying to self finance in the future the current facilities are not really fit for purpose to progress. The club, although in a beautiful location is heavily restricted by space and external constraints which effects it being redeveloped as a football club in its current location. As a consequence under new ownership the club, like many other have are looking to relocate to a site away from their ‘’spiritual home’’. One of the main problems facing a club like Nottingham Forest is making enough revenue to finance itself if in the future, in the absence of large amounts of TV money affecting teams outside of the top-flight of football.
The majority of the new stadia which have relocated from the heart of the town (Derby County, Coventry City) to the edge of town have somewhat lost their connection with the town / city centre and its supporters. Football stadiums used to be the beating heart of a town and although not fit for purpose in most cases now they have moved so far away from the city that the experience has become sanitised. There is no identity between the place and the stadium you visit.
The aim of this project is to engage with the memories and events which enrich the history of Nottingham Forest and implement them into a design proposal befitting of the the great Nottingham Forest Football Club.
The development of the design brief had to ensure that certain criteria were to be met in order for a move from the current location to become a viable design option and business model. These are listed as follows:
- Increased capacity to allow for increased match day revenue should the club reach the Premier League.
- Design for commercial facilities to be not only used on match day but 365 days a year.
- Capacity allowing for uses in future major sporting or recreational events. FIFA requires any stadium and associated facilities to cater for 45,000 spectators for a World Cup Finals Venue, with UEFA stipulating a minimum capacity of 35,000 spectators for a European Championships venue.
- Improved connections with the City Centre of Nottingham
- Campus style development which allowed for on site accommodation of the academy
players and education facilities.
- Introduction of a ‘sporting corridor’ allowing for additional outdoor and indoor sporting recreational space. Sports to include cricket, football pitches, 5 aside, open park space and a swimming centre. The design has aimed at creating a central sporting hub which links the city south of the river including trent bridge to the city centre taking in both football clubs.
- Energy Centre allowing the Stadium to benefit from Nottingham already established district heating scheme which the Eastcroft power station currently feeds into. A similar scheme on the Olympic Park in Stratford caters for a similar set up.
The main focus of the design will be the design of the stadium and its surrounding facilities:
Key to the design will be the integration into a sporting corridor which links the site to the north of Nottingham through the Eastside regeneration and additional sporting facilities such as the National Ice Centre with the south of the river which takes into account the Trent Bridge Test Cricket ground. The aim to unite Nottinghams rich sporting culture which unusally harbours 2 professional football teams, A County Cricket Club and International Cricket Venue, A top flight British Ice Hockey team and National Ice Centre which doubles up as an international boxing venue and music venue, A horse racecourse and Greyhound Stadium and former National Watersports Centre, along with smaller club based sports in and around the city. The sporting corridor aims to give a platform to the various clubs to utilise their facilities right throughout the year and to allow people from the city and surrounding suburbs to interact with the clubs moreover. providing facilities for sport recreation and outdoor leisure. Left is how the site has been aportionned and takes into account the adhoc dilapidated urban condition and apportions area for development.
Of further importance to the development is the addition of academy education and accommodation facilities. This will allow Nottingham Forest to apply for category 1 status for the academy which will allow for the club to scout the best youngsters in the country to the club and mean that the club will have a better chance of reatining the best youngster for the local area. This in its self will allow the club to further connect with the local area and improve the aspirations of the younger generation from nottingham.
The TAw highlighted a particular site North of the river Trent called ‘Eastcroft’ and lies directly adjacent to Notts County Football Club. It describes the nature of the site as being cut off from the city centre leading to the disjointed ‘non pedestrian’ feel to the area. More of a traffic cut through of tired industrial use.
Because of its proximity to the River Trent the design has remained at the current datum Level and cannot utilise a design where by the lower tier is dug into the landscape. However this does allow for the design to retain a presence on the Nottingham Skyline. The 45.000-seater stadium and its concourses with its cafes and restaurants are fully covered by the square roof structure, which generates a diffused smooth atmosphere of filtered daylight in places opening out into open park areas at other parts of the concourses’
The New Stadium is planned for completion around 2018 and will integrate its self into a green park which will flank the city centre and east side of Nottingham. The new stadium will retain a river side location and give an iconic feel as the current stadium does.
Created as a ‘Living Stadium’ an open and friendly character of the stadium building structures are combined with an all-day use of accommodations around.
The exterior parkscape and stadium roof design is derived from a set of conceptual drawings which is rooted in the history of Nottingham Forest Club. They were created as a set of transcriptions which record the successes and failures of the club over the past 120 years. The transformation of this into a significant architectural structure is the main form based idea for the built forms and tries to seamlessly link the stadium roof into the external covered park.
The Stadium and associated facilities represents not only a stadium, but a unique icon for the city of Nottingham and at the same time an atmospheric and engaging area / meeting point for all fans / people of Nottingham.
VIP accommodations corporate facilities and media areas are situated around the entire stadium at main concourse level. Multifunctional use for concerts and social events is designated for the stadium as well as the multiple use of restaurants, cafes and kiosks and open concourses.
The void between the roof and the main upper tiers, allow for air flow through the stadium and the transluscent nature of the roof allows for natural daylight to reach the playing surface, The upper tier is contoured to leave open space in the corners of the ground, this features providing additional airflow and sunlight to the pitch.
With a project such as this I have tried to consider the ‘global principles of ‘Sustainability’ and is very context led / dependant. A fundamental rule for sustainable construction is that there must be an identified need for the development in the first place. Although the actual built environment has a key role in to play in sustainability there other related factors, natural features, local resources, weather patterns and local culture. This I will aim to explain my project on the broad principles along with energy efficiencies and recyclables. Operational characteristics contribute to sustainability along with the social and economic benefits the stadium will provide. The main sustainability subjects addressed in the design of the new stadium, both during the construction and operational use are as follows:
- Building Design
- Waste Management
- Water conservation
- Green Travel
- Energy Efficieny
- Environmental Design
- Social Obligations
My project aims to where possible use less energy and utilise materials with less embodied energies. Using environmentally friendly forms of energy and using roof mounted photovoltaic’s will increase the energy efficiency of the scheme. It is important to limit the amount of water treated for human consumption being the traffic and footfall of a building such as a football stadium and so the scheme will increase the use of environmentally friendly water supplies.
Being located close to the city centre the stadium benefits from ideal transport connections reducing the need for car travel to and away from the stadium. Close by is a tram network serving the city, Nottingham train station and the cities bus service all feeding into site.
The scheme addresses the idea of social sustainability with the provision for a high standard of urban design with sufficient public green spaces for social interaction and engagement. The area has transformed in use and has reduced the domination of the car and traffic flow through the site. The mixed level of uses have increased the amount of employment and vastly improved the number of leisure services on site which is crucial to such a central city centre. The economic advantages of the proposal give weight to the football club moving to this location.
Architecturally the reduction in environmental impact will be achieved by careful selection of materials and construction limit embodied energy and energy loss.
Where possible the stadium and its associated buildings will be ventilated naturally to ensure the best possible internal environment and to minimise the stadium energy consumption and running costs. However where this isn’t possible, mechanical systems will be used to achieve the best possible energy efficiency. These will be controlled by a building management centrally located system where they will be activated when a location becomes in use. Other places will utilise a PIR (passive infra red detector) system to allow for local use as and when needed.
The stadium will be unique in appearance and be derived from a rigorous design process. It will have to give sensitive consideration to its prominent city centre location and utilise a palette of robust materials which achieve an aspiration of high quality design. Designing for security as in a stadium can sometimes be brutal and intimidating. It’s the aspirations of this scheme to create quality robust friendly areas around the perimeter of the stadium which will attract people into the area. Limiting the number of materials will make the structures less ‘fussy’ and the use of acoustic cladding will limit the noise impact the stadium has on the surrounding area. This will probably be a planning requirement. The areas at greatest risk of damage are lower levels considering the footfall and so the exterior to the stadium entry areas will be a concrete polished block to give the appearance of stack bonded blocks.
A Full height glazing system (See Details)will be used to the surrounding retail areas to provide an inviting and welcoming feel without blocking people out and inviting pedestrian¬ views across site.