At one time, this might have seemed too obvious a question, but, at a time where matches are being played to row upon row of empty seats, the purpose of the football stadium has never been more pertinent.
In February 2019, we presented a long-term vision for the redevelopment of Moss Lane for Altrincham Football Club. Our proposal was simple, how can we restructure the existing football ground and create a 365 day destination for one of the UK's most thriving towns.
Using a unique formula where architecture compliments the business model of the football club, shifting the balance from match day revenue to more frequent revenue streams became the focus on the architectural narrative for the project.
Whilst many modern stadium are being geographically removed from our town centres, Gavin discussed the importance a stadium can provide to our town's and cities. What once was a place for father and son to watch 90 minutes of football needs to adapt to attract a series of new demographics to football clubs; especially within the lower leagues...
Football is charged with powerful notions of identity and community. The paradox is that while these elements drive the tribal nature of football, the fans themselves have, traditionally, had little influence over the club, or even a stake in its stadium.
On one hand, therefore, uprooting a stadium, and therefore its club, and relocating it out of town, would seem to confirm the essential powerlessness of its fans.
But on the other, it is an opportunity for clubs to reengage with fans, and to reaffirm shared values by investing in local communities through placemaking.
This sense of social responsibility doesn’t stop with the club, but extends to the architectural practice undertaking its new stadium design.