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Tottenham Hotspurs' secret plans for White Hart Lane mega stadium

Populous, designers of the London Olympic Stadium, are drawing up multi-use proposals for a Tottenham Hotspur stadium that could also host American NFL games

2012 Olympic Stadium architect Populous has drawn up top secret plans for a mega-venue at White Hart Lane, home of Spurs.

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club brought the practice in last month to re-think architect KSS’s already-consented £400 million, 56,000-seat stadium scheme for the north London site.

It is rumoured that new, top secret plans for the site include a retractable natural turf pitch, allowing the arena to be opened up for uses other than football – similar to that at the Arizona Cardinals’ home stadium in Phoenix, which was also jointly designed by Populous together with Eisenman Architects (pictured). The AJ believes the club wants to entice the National Football League to host American Football games in the stadium.

It is unclear how the proposals, which are understood to be taller than the existing stadium, would impact on the redevelopment of the area around the ground, which has been earmarked for 285 homes and a wider commercial development.

However the creation of a 75x100m glazed structure to house the retracted pitch south of the ground – thought to be part of Populous’s proposal – would mean the number of planned homes could shrink.

A spokesman for the club would not comment on the rumours, insisting Populous had only been formally appointed to ‘take forward the interior design for the fit-out of the stadium’ and to ‘conduct a peer review of the stadium design’.

He added: ‘[The club] has always seen the new stadium as being at the heart of the regeneration of the area and this process can be enhanced through future-proofing the design, as well as increasing the functionality of the stadium.

‘The club intends to continue to examine all options as it refines its plans.’

The first images of plans to revamp Spurs’ home date back to 2008. The club has worked on numerous options for the area around the ground as part of its Northumberland Development Project – initially using Make Architects (AJ 01.10.10).

In 2011 Spurs also looked at moving to the Olympic Stadium, which it intended to rebuild.

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Allies and Morrison has been appointed by Stanhope to draw up a masterplan for the Western side of Tottenham High Road, close to the ground.

The proposals move forward the wider masterplan for the riot-hit borough drafted by Arup for Haringey Borough Council and property developer Stuart Lipton.

Lipton was sceptical about the stadium rumours, saying that it would be hard to build much bigger, given the plot size and the Sainsbury’s supermarket that is currently under construction next door.

Populous declined to comment.

New Northumberland Project plans (December 2011) drawn up by KSS

New Northumberland Project plans (December 2011) drawn up by KSS

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