Fulham FC Riverside Stand Redevelopment
CHALLENGE. One of the oldest continuously-used grounds in England, Fulham FC first moved to their new home Craven Cottage in 1896, and have been there ever since. The first stand designed by the celebrated stadium architect Archibald Leitch was added in 1905, and is still in use today as the Johnny Haynes Stand. Fulham are naturally proud of their position as possessing of the most authentic football grounds in England.
Leitch also designed the Cottage, a corner pavilion that was common at Scottish football grounds, and is one of the last remaining examples in English football. It was with this background that the club approached Populous to redesign the current Riverside Stand, which had become outdated. The challenge for the design team was the extremely tight site, flanked by the pitch to the north and the River Thames to the south, as well as designing a stand that would contribute and enhance the heritage and historic nature of the ground, as well as the prestigious setting in the heart of the capital.
INNOVATION. The new design has developed the 2013 scheme by creating a riverside development befitting of its prominent location on the Thames. It will address the Club’s operational and sporting requirements during the football season and also provide a community hub that will add to the vibrancy of the area on non-match days. A major benefit of the project is the creation of a public riverside walkway, providing an important part of the Thames Path. As part of the work, the river wall that is currently in extremely poor condition will be replaced with a new vertical wall; this will follow the same line as the approved 2013 river wall.
"We have engaged Populous, a worldclass architectural and design firm, to deliver a Riverside Stand project that will transcend the customary standards of football grandstands."Shahid Khan / Fulham Chairman
IMPACT. In addition to increasing the seating capacity at Craven Cottage, the Club has sought to add amenities to help transform the riverside walkway into a world-class leisure destination, both on match days and non-match days. The application follows a period of consultation and open dialogue with residents, supporters, and many stakeholders with an interest in the project and local area.
Populous’ multi-use scheme considers the requirements of all stakeholders to create a riverside development befitting of its prominent location on the Thames. The form of the building has been designed to echo the gentle curve of the river. It’s gleaming glass façade bathes the interiors in natural light, providing stunning views from every level, while the elegant, timber-clad roof structure is supported by steel trusses to create the striking visual effect of the roof floating in the air, high above the seating tier.
The scheme incorporates restaurants overlooking the river, events spaces, a health club complete with roof-top pool, a boutique hotel and a roof terrace. It will of course address the Club’s operational and sporting requirements during the football season, but importantly also provide a new destination for local residents and visitors to the area on non-match days, providing new revenue streams for the client and reaffirming the stadium’s position at the heart of the community.
- World Architecture News Awards, Future Projects: Leisure – Gold Award