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Exclusive: Forest Green eco-stadium designs revealed

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Zaha Hadid Architects and ZedFactory are among nine firms shortlisted for a new sustainable stadium for Forest Green Rovers Football Club in Gloucestershire

Gianni Botsford Architects, Glenn Howells Architects and sports specialist AFL Architects are also competing for the high-profile scheme near Stroud.

Singapore-based DP Architects and Californian eco-designer Richard Kroeker are the only non-UK teams shortlisted.

The full shortlist

Zaha Hadid Architects’ shortlisting comes nearly two months after Zaha Hadid died of a heart attack and more than three years after the firm won a high-profile contest for Japan’s Olympic stadium with a scheme which was later abandoned after the client allegedly ‘colluded to close the doors on the project to the world’.

Organised by Frank Whittle Partnership, the contest sought proposals for a new ‘sustainable and future proof’ home ground for the ambitious all-vegan club which is currently second in the National League and vying for promotion into the football league.

Club chair and Ecotricity founder Dale Vince said: ‘We originally said we’d draw up a shortlist of eight entries, but we’ve had such a fantastic range of designs from across the world that we’ve had to squeeze an extra one in.

‘The shortlisted architects will now work up their designs in more depth, and I’m very excited to see what comes next.’



The new Eco Park site

The proposed stadium is part of a planned £100 million Eco Park next to junction 13 of 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.

Formerly known as Stroud FC, the club has been based at the New Lawn stadium 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 officially all vegan football club in October last year.

Two finalists will receive an honorarium to draw up more details proposals – including scale models – and an overall winner will be announced in September. Runners-up may also be recruited to design additional structures on the surrounding Eco Park.

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