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Glenn Howells and Zaha Hadid Architects qualify for Forest Green eco-stadium

Zaha Hadid Architects [ZHA] and Glenn Howells Architects [GHA] are down to the last two in the contest to design a new sustainable stadium for Forest Green Rovers Football Club in Gloucestershire

The two teams saw off seven other practices, including Gianni Botsford Architects, AFL Architects and Singapore-based DP Architects, who were also vying for the high-profile scheme near Stroud.

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.

Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince said: ’The diversity and quality of the designs were outstanding and it was a very difficult process narrowing it down from nine to two.

‘In the two finalists, we have one from a globally renowned practice [ZHA] and the other designed by an architect that created the award-winning Gloucester services right on our doorstep [GHA].’

Stroud

Stroud

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.

The full shortlist

The runners-up may also be recruited to design additional structures on the surrounding Eco Park.

The winning design will be unveiled in September.

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