John Smith’s Stadium

Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Opened in 1994
A small town in the north of England, Huddersfield has an enviable record when it comes to sport. The birthplace of rugby league and the home of the Huddersfield Giants, the town now also boasts an EPL team following Huddersfield Town’s promotion in 2017.

In 1991, a partnership between these two teams and Kirklees Metropolitan Council came together with the ambition to create a mulit-use complex that could serve as a world-class home to both professional teams, as well as being a hub for the local community. Populous’ winning scheme for the new stadium was based on the ‘Stadium for the Nineties’, a theoretical project developed by the Populous design team for the UK Sports Council.

The 50-acre site for the project is on the edge of Huddersfield town, constricted by the River Colne to the west, and the wooded Kilner Bank to the east. The design ambition was for the the stadium to act as a social oasis, attracting future investment into leisure and retail developments on the site.

John Smith's Stadium is the only stadium to ever win the coveted ‘Building of the Year’ award, the forerunner of the Stirling Prize, from the Royal Institute of British Architects

The Populous masterplan designed to allow the new stadium to function in conjunction with the commercial and leisure facilities, including a multiplex cinema, food and non-food retail, and a community leisure centre. The north stand was designed to incorporate a hotel in the future, as well as housing all the back-of-house facilities for both professional clubs, and maintenance and service required to accommodate the hotel. The stadium design also includes a 25m swimming pool with a fully adjustable floor. The pool also accommodates synchronised swimming, diving, water polo, and competition diving.

The main architectural challenge for the project was to design a roof that allowed uninterrupted viewing from every seat, as well as the addition of roofs to the future end stands. The arch, which became affectionately known as the ‘banana truss’, consists of a white tubular-steel prismatic structure, the largest element of which stretches 140 metres and weighs 78 tonnes.

Since opening in August 1994 John Smith’s Stadium has become a landmark venue, attracting sustained international publicity and winning a number of design awards.

  • 1995

    • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Building of the Year (Stirling Prize)
2 items.
  • Dale Jennins Senior Principal London
  • Megan Ashfield Principal London

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Non facere corporis et expedita sit nam amet aut necessitatibus at dolore enim quis impedit eius libero, harum tempore laboriosam dolor cumque.

Lorem, ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Illo temporibus vero veritatis eveniet, placeat dolorem sunt at provident tenetur omnis, dicta exercitationem. Expedita quod aspernatur molestias eum? Totam, incidunt quos.