Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) just won a design competition for a new football stadium built almost entirely from wood. The proejct is a world-first in stadium design, and the architects say will be the greenest football stadium in the world. Commissioned by Forest Green Rovers, the new football stadium will serve as the centerpiece of the £100 million Eco Park development in Stroud, UK. The Forest Green stadium is the latest of many stadium designs by ZHA, who have also designed a stadium in London’s Olympic Park and a 2022 World Cup stadium.
As the centerpiece of the pastoral Eco Park, the Forest Green stadium will serve more than just a recreational purpose. The stadium will be built almost entirely of wood for a very low carbon footprint—ZHA says it will have the lowest embodied carbon of any stadium in the world—and pave the way for eco-friendly development in the 100-acre sports and green technology business park. The structure will also accommodate occupational uses outside of football to enable the town to use the stadium year-round.
“Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium and Eco Park aims to be carbon neutral or carbon negative, including measures such as the provision of on-site renewable energy generation,” said Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA. “The buildings on the site, and their embodied energy, play a substantial role in achieving this ambitious target and demonstrate sustainable architecture can be dynamic and beautiful.” All the timber will be sustainably sourced, from the roof cantilevers and louvered cladding to the seating terraces to the floor slab. A transparent membrane will cover the stadium’s roof to shade the players and spectators, and offer an opportunity for turf growth.
Images via Zaha Hadid Architects