We’ve all become accustomed to The Emirates, how it looks on matchday, how it looked as it was being constructed is also an image that we are all very familiar with, but now, here is your chance to see it as it was perceived in the mind of the architects and as it was realised, both at the same time.
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The text reads:
August 2006 saw the opening game at the 60,000-seat Emirates Stadium in London, the new home for Arsenal FC, one of Europe’s most prestigious and successful premiership football clubs. This opening game marked the beginning of a new era for the club and the stadium won a rapturous response from players and fans alike.
The brief for the Emirates Stadium, just a short walk from Arsenal’s previous 38,000-seat ground in Highbury, north London, was to provide a world-class stadium with the best sight lines, playing surface and atmosphere in the English Premiership. Meeting the needs of a modern club in terms of spectator comfort and facilities, media access and excellent corporate facilities was paramount while recreating the unique territorial atmosphere that Arsenal generated at its previous home.
The site itself provided big challenges. As well as being a very tight, triangular site, it was formerly home to an industrial estate and waste transfer station for Islington Council. Buro Happold carried out a full environmental impact assessment of the site and supervised the subsequent remediation work before having to plan the construction sequencing to fit with these tricky constraints.
The stadium design was shaped to literally fit the plan constraints of our tight triangular site – oval in plan, the building was set out to nestle into the available space. This provided a key geometric driver for the planning and layout of the accommodation and superstructure, all to ensure that we could accommodate the required spectator numbers to world class comfort standards.
The roof to the Emirates Stadium is unique and was shaped in response to the local authority planning guidelines that dictated a reduced headroom for the building – our site constraints were not just in plan, they were vertical as well. Of course whilst these constraints provide challenges for the designers, the results are always special and different and the Emirates Stadium is a unique building that has been constructed to suit its specific requirements, both from our client and from our site.
Not only were the spectators and the players were looked after, the grass was looked after too. The shape of the roof allows the maximum amount of sunlight to hit the pitch to maintain grass quality while offering unrestricted views for all 60,000 spectators. The downward sloping roof tiles, attached to the underside of the structural steelwork to maximise the opening above the pitch, also reduce the degree of shadow falling on the pitch. This gives more consistent light levels for television cameras and helps improve the match atmosphere for the fans by partially trapping crowd noise, delivering that all-important atmosphere.
Emirates Stadium has been recognised worldwide as a triumph in design and usability which has helped create a new football landmark for Arsenal FC and for London. Arsenals business has strengthened on the back of new revenue streams and stronger future security that could only have been secured on the back of a successful stadium project.
Source: Text taken from: Buro Happold, Case Study: Arsenal Emirates Stadium.
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