Stadium for Bath appoints Grimshaw as lead architect

If we want to continue to be Bath Rugby and remain in the heart of this unique city we must be so much more than a rugby club
– Tarquin McDonald, chief executive, Bath Rugby

Bath Rugby moved a step closer to its new home as the Stadium for Bath project confirmed Grimshaw as lead architect.

The project brings together Bath Rugby, Bath Rugby Foundation and Arena 1865 to develop the new stadium in the City of Bath, a certified UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Globally renowned architecture firm Grimshaw will begin developing designs for the 18,000-capacity stadium, which will replace Bath Rugby’s facilities at the Recreation Ground.

Stadium for Bath intends to submit a final design for planning approval during 2018.

“This project is about a club that plays its rugby and lives in the heart of Bath and has done so for over 150 years,” said Tarquin McDonald, chief executive of Bath Rugby.

“However, if we want to continue to be Bath Rugby and remain in the heart of this unique city we must be so much more than a rugby club.

“Stadium for Bath is about delivering a new home for Bath Rugby but it’s clear that this project goes beyond that – it’s about rugby as a catalyst for riverside regeneration in the centre of Bath and the provision of significant community benefits that create a legacy for everyone whether or not they are rugby supporters.”

The project team reviewed a long list of top-name architects and specifically engaged with eight as part of the selection process, with a focus on meeting the needs of locals and fans.

Grimshaw’s experience includes sporting destinations such as the Wimbledon Master Plan, the Curragh Racecourse, and the delivery of projects in heritage locations such as Thermae Bath Spa and the recently approved changes to the grade II-listed former Herman Miller factory for Bath Spa University.

McDonald added: “We’ve spent months undertaking a robust architect selection process and believe we now have the best team in place to design an amazing place to watch rugby and a truly exceptional destination that will become a jewel in the city’s crown.”

Kirsten Lees, partner at Grimshaw, said the firm was delighted to be selected. “The site’s sensitive and complex location demands a very special and unique design response to deliver the project’s objectives,” she said.

Grimshaw has appointed two further practices, Kay Elliott and Gross Max, as sub-contractors to provide design expertise on the project.

Kay Elliott has been appointed destination and interiors architect and Kay Elliott will have overarching responsibility for designing the internal look and feel of the new stadium.

Internal areas include hospitality, player areas, bars and toilets, together with non-matchday uses such as conferencing and banqueting.

Gross Max has been appointed to lead on riverside design and the public realm.

A statement from the Stadium for Bath described the design aesthetic and stadium experience as “fundamental to the overall design solution”.

“It’s clear that the smart use of space at the site, the design of internal and operational spaces, and the landscape setting of the stadium will also be essential components of a successful design,” it said.

Stadium for Bath  Bath Rugby  Grimshaw  Tarquin McDonald  Kirsten Lees  Bath Rugby Foundation  Arena 1865  stadium  design  architecture 
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