Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
London, England, United Kingdom
The multi-award-winning Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a new benchmark in global stadium design, offering one of the finest spectator experiences in the world. By incorporating a fully retractable natural turf pitch, it is also the first purpose-built home for the NFL outside the US.
CHALLENGE. Tottenham Hotspur Football Club challenged Populous to create a world-class sports and entertainment destination that would deliver an unrivalled fan experience and significant community benefits, while also providing the perfect environment for hosting American football games.
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"Our stunning new stadium design and wider scheme will deliver an unrivalled fan experience and significant community benefits – creating a world class sports and entertainment destination for all - and in our birthplace of Tottenham."Daniel Levy / Chairman of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
INNOVATION. The stadium is designed to cultivate an extraordinary atmosphere. With a capacity of 62,850, it offers an intimate spectating experience, with stands angled at the steepest permissible slope to bring fans closer to the pitch. The first row of seats is no more than eight metres from the playing surface, surpassing the proximity of any comparable modern stadium. The 17,500-seat South Stand is the country’s largest single-tier stand, designed to generate a powerful ‘wall of sound’, and includes 5,000 safe standing seats in its lower section. Populous collaborated with U2’s sound engineers to optimise the stadium’s acoustics, fine-tuning the reverberation times to amplify the roar of the crowd and further enhance the atmosphere.
Enhancing the match-day experience for Tottenham Hotspur supporters was central to the design approach. The stadium’s general admission concourse hosts more than 60 concessions and three pub-style feature bars. Within the South Stand, the five-story Market Place atrium provides a lively gathering space for fans pre and post matches. It features street-food inspired food outlets, a microbrewery, and a 65-metre bar — the longest in Europe — stretching the full length of the goal line on the pitch.
Populous’ concept designs for the stadium’s premium facilities aim to unlock hidden potential in underutilised spaces, offering fans distinctive experiences while opening up fresh revenue avenues for the club. This diverse array of private suites, sky lounges, premium lounges, bars, conference facilities and Michelin-star dining options caters to a wide range of budgets and preferences and can host up to 8,000 guests on event days.
"I think you are too humble when you say, 'beautiful stadium', too humble. You have to say the best stadium in the world. That's the reality."Jose Mourinho
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is designed to be inclusive for everyone. The building includes over 250 dedicated elevated wheelchair positions around the seating bowl, 66 fully accessible toilets, and hearing loops that provide audio-descriptive match commentaries by specialists. Additionally, there is a sensory suite, offering a comfortable and calming environment for supporters on the autistic spectrum or with sensory impairment conditions.
The stadium is the first purpose-built for NFL games outside the US, featuring a retractable natural turf pitch that slides under the South Stand in just 25 minutes, revealing an artificial playing surface. This flexibility enables American football and other events, like concerts, to take place during the football season without affecting the quality of the natural turf pitch. The system also offers ideal sightlines for American football by lowering the playing surface relative to the first row of seats, allowing fans to view the action over players and coaching staff on the sidelines. Additionally, purpose-designed NFL locker rooms and other bespoke player, staff, and media facilities combine to make the stadium a true home away from home for visiting NFL teams.
IMPACT. The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opened it 2019 to widespread acclaim from fans, players, and the media. It is considered one of the finest stadiums globally, marking a new era for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club and becoming a major landmark for both Tottenham and London.
The comprehensive stadium development scheme encompasses a new visitor centre called the “Tottenham Experience,” a gym, supermarket, and a sixth-form school. It bustles with activity year-round, featuring stadium tours, retail spaces, conference and banquet facilities, public cafes, and a forthcoming hotel, attracting around two million visitors annually. Upon completion, the project will create 3,500 jobs and inject a projected £293 million into the local economy each year, benefitting local businesses and offering fresh opportunities to the community.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium Design Team
Client: Tottenham Hotspur Football Club
Architect & Principal Designer: Populous
Interior Designer: Jump Studios – A Populous Company
Tottenham Experience Designer: Populous
Planning Consultant: DP9
Roof Structural Engineer: Schlaich Bergermann Partner
Shell & Core Structural Engineer: Buro Happold Engineering
Retractable Pitch Engineer: SCX Special Projects
M&E Consultant: Buro Happold Engineering
Quantity Surveyor: Arcadis
Landscape Architect: Populous
Main Contractor: Mace
Premium Hospitality, Player Facilities and Tottenham Experience Fit Out: BASE Contracts & F3 Architects
Populous was the architect for the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium project, responsible for all aspects of the design of the scheme from 2014 and the initial concept stages, through to the completion of construction works in 2019. The full development incorporates the stadium, a new visitors centre, and the Club’s new headquarters building. Future developments include an extreme sports building and a hotel.
Populous’ specialist brand activation team was commissioned to investigate the Club’s brand identity to deliver an authentic scheme for environmental graphics. The primary focus of this piece of work was in embedding the Club’s history into the fabric of the building itself, creating statement gestures such as the huge concrete letters affixed to the building’s northern elevation spelling out the Club’s motto, that will endure for as long as the stadium is standing.
Populous was challenged to develop a creative alternative to traditional wayfinding methods to support the stadium’s complementary mix of uses. At the core of the design is the incorporation of LED technology into classic wayfinding totems to create variable digital signage. This provides the building’s operations team with a significant degree of flexibility, allowing event-specific information to be displayed and last-minute changes or messages to be quickly programmed.
Populous has created a landscaped realm inspired by the Club’s history and the local area that establishes a new ‘greenway’ for fans and the local community to use and explore. All aspects of the development – retail, residential, hotel and experiential – are encompassed in the precinct to create a series of spaces that link together seamlessly.
Populous partnered with its sister company, Jump Studios, to deliver the design for the stadium’s general admission concourse spaces, incorporating 61 bars, eateries and coffee shops. Highlights of the scheme include three pub-style feature bars, an expansive food court inspired by local street markets, and the world’s first in-stadium microbrewery, developed in partnership with operator Beavertown Brewery. Populous and Jump Studios were also responsible for the concept designs for the stadium’s premium hospitality areas.
Continuing its long-standing partnership with the NFL, Populous’ events team is tasked with delivering the NFL’s annual London Games Series, with matches hosted at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and Wembley Stadium. Drawing on the expertise of architects and specialist event planners from across the firm’s global practice, the scope of service spans overlay design, accreditation, wayfinding, operations and transportation.
Facts and Figures
- Total capacity
- Single-tier South Stand capacity
- Premium seating capacity
- Food and drink outlets
- Jobs created
- Distance from stands to pitch
- 4.9m to 6.9m
- IPC IAKS Distinction for Accessibility
- IOC IAKS Award – Gold
- RIBA National Award
- RIBA London Award
- Prix Versailles Awards, Sports Category – World Special Prize for Interiors
- Fast Company' Innovation By Design Awards – Finalist in Sports and Recreation Category for Retractable Pitch Design
- Architizer A+Awards – Special Mention
- LABC Building Excellence Awards – Best Large Commercial Project
- Design Week Awards, Wayfinding and Environmental Graphics - Highly Commended
- TheStadiumBusiness Awards – Venue of the Year
- Mondo*dr Awards – Best Stadium Category
- Selwyn Goldsmith Awards for Universal Design – Highly Commended
- Civic Trust Awards – Highly Commended
- AJ Architecture Awards – Best Leisure Project
- The StadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards – Project of the Year
- Building Awards – Project of the Year
- Structural Steel Design Awards – Building of the Year
- The StadiumBusiness Design & Development Awards – Interior & Fit-Out Award for The High Street Concourses at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
- LABC National Building Excellence Awards – Best Inclusive Building for The Tottenham Experience
- World Interior News Awards – Gold Award for Leisure and Entertainment Interiors
- World Interior News Awards – Gold Award for Branding and Wayfinding
- World Architecture News – Bronze Award for Leisure Architecture