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Zaha Hadid Architects among two finalists for Forest Green’s new stadium

Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) are one of two shortlisted firms in the final of a competition to design Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium in Gloucestershire; selected from nine shortlisted candidates, based on almost 50 entries from around the world.

Architectural firms from France, Sweden, Germany and the United States, alongside leading British designers, entered the competition to design an innovative new 5,000 capacity stadium for Forest Green.

The new stadium will be the centrepiece of the £100million Eco Park development – a 100 acre sports and green technology business park proposal beside junction 13 of the M5 motorway in Gloucestershire, UK.

Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers chairman Dale Vince said: “The diversity and quality of the designs were outstanding and it was a very difficult process narrowing it down from nine to two.”
Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA, said: “We are very honoured to be selected as one of the final two architects. The selection allows us to continue working with the Forest Green Rovers team to deliver a stadium and landscape design using timber construction that embodies the virtues of beauty and sustainability in this unique Stroud countryside location.” 
The competition has been organised by leading sports procurement consultants FWP. Nine shortlisted architects took five weeks to prepare and present their designs in more depth, with the final two set to be paid an honorarium and produce a scale model. The winning design will be unveiled in September.

Neil Ainsworth RIBA of FWP said: “The quality of the submissions from the shortlisted teams was outstanding and we look forward to working with the two finalists over the coming weeks.”

Half of Eco Park will consist of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the new stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub.

The other half will comprise a green technology business park with sustainably built commercial offices and light industrial units, giving Eco Park the potential to create up to 4,000 jobs, including room for the continued expansion of green energy company Ecotricity, who have submitted the overall proposal and who are already the biggest employer in Stroud with 700 people located across four sites.

The proposal will also see the development of a nature reserve on the site, a potential public transport hub, including a Stroud Park and Ride, as well as help with the restoration of the Stroudwater canal.

(Above render by VA)