Community matters

While Tottenham’s new Populous-designed stadium aims to be the most “technologically advanced” in the world, the architect and club believe community lies at its heart

Read on turning pages | Download PDF | sign up to CLAD

Up until the last few weeks of the Premier League season it looked like a credible possibility that Tottenham Hotspur might win its first league title since 1961. Although the club’s challenge ultimately faltered, with Spurs ending the season third behind champions Leicester and North London rival Arsenal, the campaign did much to boost supporters’ optimism that success isn’t too far away.

New era
While demonstrable improvements have been made on the field with the club registering its best top flight finish of the Premier League era in 2015/16, Tottenham can look forward to the construction of its new 61,000-capacity stadium – the second-largest in the Premier League, and the first stadium with a retractable natural turf surface to accommodate football and NFL matches.

It’s a project of some ambition which will form part of a large regeneration initiative between White Hart Lane train station and Northumberland Park. However, at the heart of it all lies the theme of “community” says Populous senior principal Christopher Lee.

Talking at the Telegraph Business of Sport Conference 2016 earlier this month, Lee, who also worked on Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, says plans for the new stadium very much fits with Populous’ desire to keep sporting arenas within the city boundary and become the “catalyst for regeneration”.

To crystallise his point, Lee highlights the work of Archibald Leitch who designed stadiums which “evolved as the local community evolved”.

“Fifty years after the Leitch English stadiums there was a big move in the US and Europe to move these facilities outside the city limits,” he explains. “They were pushed to the outskirts and produced a wholly unsatisfactory experience for the spectators and left a huge gap in the community. What we’re keen to do is keep these clubs in their local environment.”

Residential areas, a 180-bedroom hotel, a museum, community facilities and shops will spring up around the £400m stadium, while local residents will be able to enjoy a public area the size of Trafalgar Square which Lee describes as a “fantastic civic space”.

An extreme sports building will also be present in the grounds of the stadium development, which will include the largest international dive tank and a climbing wall.

A wider community
But for Lee and Sanjeev Katwa, Tottenham Hotspur’s head of technology solutions, community doesn’t just mean the individuals who live in close proximity to the ground. Match day supporters are an important part of the community the pair has envisaged.

Katwa reveals that the club had done extensive research on fan opinion before devising the stadium masterplan with Populous, which helped formulate ideas such as the steep, 17,000-seat single tier stand behind the goal to increase the match day atmosphere.

“It goes back to the identity of the great old stadiums,” says Lee, referencing Liverpool’s iconic Kop End at its Anfield Road stadium and Borussia Dortmund’s ‘Yellow Wall’ as inspirations.

He adds: “The reason I love being involved in stadiums is the rare moment you get being part of this community and sensing 60,000 people wanting something, sharing something – it’s very rare to have that amount of people with the same common objective.”

Trying to draw in younger supporters is a priority for both Tottenham and Populous, and Lee suggests that the stadium could incorporate family-specific areas and youth areas, while plans to add crèches are being talked about.

NFL plans
The experience of American football fans will also be taken into account with the stadium doubling up as a “bespoke” NFL venue. A number of exhibition matches are expected to take place in the stadium – with a London-based franchise also being mooted – and the technology in the arena reflects this.

A retractable football pitch will lie on top of an astroturf NFL field, so that the former can slide out before an American football match. According to Lee, the innovation ensures ideal sightlines for both sports, while lighting systems will be state of the art.

In addition, changing rooms will be built to accommodate 60 people, which is crucial for NFL games where there are a significant number of technical staff present for each franchise.

“NFL matches and other events will have a longer dwell time than the 90 minutes required for football,” says Katwa. “NFL games could be five hours long, so technology has been built in to ensure the right number of communication rooms and data centres and the right number of wifi access points.”

Indeed, Katwa reveals that he expects the stadium to be the “most technically advanced in the world”; a bold claim he concedes, but founded on the idea that the facility is being developed to accommodate changing technology in the future.

But with thoughts geared towards smartphone ticketing, quality wifi and innovative F&B operations, he stresses that even the most technical aspects of the stadium will have the customer and community at their heart. Wifi connection, for example, might be turned off during some matches so nothing is taken away from the atmosphere.

“We feel technology is really going to support us to create that unrivalled fan experience, but keeping the same level of atmosphere.”

Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: DJW
DJW offer a way to interpret your story through the use of technology. We can provide Audio Visual consultancy to assist in the planning stage, follow up with AV system design, supply and installation, and provide a bespoke control system to suit your operational needs.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
NMAAHC, Washington, US
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

The suites are sleek, modern and calming, with natural colours and materials
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
Manuelle Gautrand
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

The Lingang Bird Airport scheme will see a wetland sanctuary and visitor centre created on reclaimed land
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

"The technology involved in paint is extraordinary"

Used cleverly, colour has the power to influence how people use the spaces they inhabit, says the creative director of Dulux

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

cladkit product news
Daniel Svahn creates furniture collection using repurposed table tops
The Goodies But Oldies collection features three pieces made from repurposed MDF table tops
Lauren Heath-Jones
Daniel Svahn, a Stockholm-based furniture designer, has created a new range of sustainable furnishings, made from recycled MDF tabletops. Svahn, ...
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
BIG partners with Louis Poulsen for new lighting collection
The Keglen collection is made up of four different pendants
Lauren Heath-Jones
BIG Ideas, the technology arm of renowned architecture firm Bjarke Ingles Group (BIG), has partnered with Danish lighting manufacturer Louis ...
cladkit product news
Naval architect launches solar-powered floating pods
The Anthénea pod is a luxury floating suite that could be used as a spa or treatment suite
Lauren Heath-Jones
Naval architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle has designed a solar-powered floating hotel suite aimed at offering an eco-friendly and nomadic place for ...
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
cladkit product news
Canteen collection combines nostalgia with modern aesthetics
The Canteen collection was inspired by post-war British design techniques
Lauren Heath-Jones
Very Good & Proper (VG&P), a British furniture brand, has curated a new dining collection that combines traditional woodworking techniques ...
XTU concept imagines life in the clouds
XTU's X Cloud concept is part of the Future and the Arts: AI, Robotic, Cities, Life - How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow exhibition at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo
Lauren Heath-Jones
XTU Architects, a Paris-based architecture firm, has released images and renderings of X Cloud, a new concept that showcase a ...
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...