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Plans Unveiled for All Timber Stadium

Eco Park project in Eastrington, Gloucestershire, includes environmentally friendly all timber stadium for Forest Green Rovers

Nailsworth View by Martin Fowler (via Shutterstock).
The village of Nailsworth, the birthplace of Forest Green Rovers. By the end of this decade, they could be having an all timber Football League standard all seater stadium. Image by Martin Fowler (via Shutterstock).

By the end of this decade, National League Premier team Forest Green Rovers could be the occupants of a new 5,000 all-seater stadium. Where the Gloucestershire team’s future home varies from the norm is in its construction. It is set to be the world’s first all timber football stadium.

The proposed all timber venue will be constructed using environmentally friendly methods. It’ll be part of Ecotricity’s Eco Park project and designed by two of the world’s leading architects: Patrik Schumacher and Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid won the design competition which led to the design of Forest Green Rovers’ future home. The proposed design will blend in with its rural surroundings, with a symmetrical design.

The all timber stadium’s will see the use of cross-laminated timber and it aims to be carbon neutral. Its seating will also use the same materials. A spokesperson for Zaha Hadid Architects said in The Stroud News and Journal: “As a material, timber is highly durable, recyclable, and beautiful, it fits in well visually with a parkland setting lending a warm quality to the building envelope and can be left exposed to view without seeming cold or industrial.

”For a club like the Forest Green Rovers, timber’s eco-credentials and the emblematic value to the community of a wooden stadium make it in our view the only choice.”

For many people, the experience of all timber football stands conjure up images of the Bradford City fire in May 1985. Their critics were reassured by this statement, “Wood is often perceived to be unsafe when exposed to fire, largely due to concerns related to combustibility and structural stability.

“The reality, however, is that modern engineered timber systems perform well when exposed to fire.”

From what we’ve seen, Eco Park could hold its own against the homes of English Football League Championship sides. The proposed venue will be designed to allow for expansion from 5,000 seats to 10,000 seats. If you’re still not convinced, check out these pictures on the Zaha Hadid Architects website.

Theo’s Timber, 17 March 2017.

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