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Contest launched for Forest Green Rovers eco-stadium

Stroud
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Forest Green Rovers Football Club (FC) has opened an international design competition for a new sustainable and ‘fan-focused’ stadium near Stroud in Gloucestershire

Chaired by the founder of green energy company Ecotricity Dale Vince – the ambitious all-vegan club is seeking ‘sustainable and future proof’ proposals for its new home ground. Forest Green Rovers is currently second in the National League and vying for promotion into the football league

The contest – organised with Preston-based architects and sports specialist Frank Whittle Partnership – will select a design team for the new ‘iconic’ arena and may provide runners-ups with opportunities to design surrounding environmentally-friendly structures. 

’We’ll be looking for radical, fan-focused stadium designs’

Announcing the competition, Vince 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. 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.’

Formerly known as Stroud FC, the club has been based at The New Lawn stadium (pictured above) in nearby Nailsworth since 2006.

Following Vince’s acquisition of the club six years ago – the venue received a flurry of green upgrades including new solar panels, a solar-powered robot grass mower and the word’s first organic football pitch.

Catering at the stadium is meanwhile meat-free and Forest Green Rovers became the world’s first all vegan football club in October last year.

Vince continued: ‘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.’

Stroud

Stroud

Eco Park

The proposed stadium is part of a planned £100 million Eco Park next to junction 13 on the M5 and on either side of the A419 heading into Stroud.

Submitted for planning in January, the 40.5 hectare development will feature commercial offices, light industrial units and a new base for Ecotricity.

All-weather training pitches, multi-disciplinary sports facilities, a nature reserve and a sports hub will meanwhile surround the stadium.

Vince added: ‘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.’

Eight shortlisted teams will be asked to produce concepts and two finalists will later receive an honorarium to draw up more detailed proposals and create scale models.

A winner will be announced in September. The deadline for applications is 30 April.

Eco Park site

Eco Park site

Dale Vince

Q&A

  • Forest Green Rovers FC chair Dale Vince

Which architects have you worked with so far?
FWP have designed the overall Eco Park masterplan to date in conjunction with Ecotricity and a wider team of specialist consultants. An outline planning application has been submitted to Stroud District Council and is currently moving through the planning process.

What sort of architects are you hoping to work with?
We are looking for innovation and originality and are completely agnostic on size or status of practices – this is open to everyone and the only criteria that matters will be merit. The entrance criteria is not restrictive and does not stipulate that stadia design experience is specifically required. If an individual or organisation can show they have the sustainability or innovation credentials they are welcome to submit a proposal. Should technical assistance be required then support may be offered or bidders may be encouraged to team up with other organisations that can provide the technical expertise and resources. The aim is to obtain innovative and creative proposals from both recognised stadia specialists and those that are in the green architecture and innovation field. The criteria have been drafted to provide maximum flexibility to a wide range of entrants.

Which other stadium projects are you impressed by?
There are quite simply none. Of course there are stadia out there that are better than others but as far as we are concerned none stand out or come anywhere near meeting the criteria we’ve set. We want to set the bar for sustainable stadia. It is anticipated that the stadium will be of the highest sustainability standards currently achievable and the potential sustainability performance of any submission will be a significant element against which the proposals will be judged.

How to apply

Contact ecoparkcomp@fwp.uk.com for further information

 

Stroud

Stroud

Forest Green Rovers

Stroud

Stroud

Forest Green Rovers

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