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Stadium Proposals

By Adam Hughes :  28/08/2007 :  Comments (14) :

I am an Architect and an Evertonian and am getting a bit fed up with all the hype being generated to support a stadium move.

My annoyance is really centered on the design that has been shown and the calibre of the consultants involved. The reason that I began supporting Everton was not because it's my local team - I grew up in Somerset - Nor was it because Everton were the first club I was taken to see as a child. It was because something at Goodison just caught me the moment I stepped up out into the Gwladys Street and made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. There's something pretty special about it.

The need for clubs to relocate over the last few years has seen moves such as of Southampton to St. Mary's, of Arsenal to the Emirates and of Boro to the Riverside and this generally has led to an immediate downturn in form of the club involved, as the special atmosphere of the old stadium is lost and the '12th man' effect is gone. The problem in these cases is not the new location or the quality of the fans but the design of the stadiums. They are no longer claustrophobic cauldrons of atmosphere and history, they are banal arenas, centred around corporate hospitality, sponsorship and optimum viewing angles.

Okay, revenue will be raised to buy the £15M striker we all want but we will have lost significantly more than that and this should not be underestimated. Think about that goal that Rooney scored against Arsenal a few seasons ago when the ground erupted. On Match of The Day the cameras shook and even at home it took your breath away. What are we going to do with our new stadium ? use special effects to shake the camera and play Blur's 'Song 2' when we score to make a bit more noise?

All that said, I'm still not completely opposed to a new stadium but let's get the best people on board and produce something a little better than those computer renderings that we were shown a couple of weeks ago. Look at what good architects and a single minded project team can do with a stadium. Bayern Munich's new home was given to a firm called Herzog and De Meuron. It was constructed quickly and on a good budget. The result is pretty amazing.

The same firm were given the Beijing Olympic stadium to design which is equally eye catching. The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has a certain goldfish bowl type feel about it and generates a great atmosphere, even if it does look a bit cheap from the outside. What we have seen so far of the proposals for everton look cross between a Dixons store on an out-of-town trading estate and the New Den - hardly the greatest triumph of modern day stadium design.

I despair when I go onto the official Everton website and see quotes from Alan Stubbs and others saying how fantastic the images for the new stadium are because they really aren't. I don't blame the players. They're obviously being asked to support the move and it's easy to be wowed by colourful computer graphics but we as Evertonians need to fight for something better.

Come on the Everton Board. This is too important a thing to get wrong!

Reader Comments

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Christine in Blue
1   Posted 28/08/2007 at 07:33:31

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Adam
Your points are pretty valid in the main, sadly there is the scary bit that the form of the team does lapse when in a new stadioum, I seem to recall a few premiership sides who ended up in hte lower division the following season. That said the hairs do stand up on my neck when I visit Goodison, (bit difficult on match days from Brisbane, although I could always travel on Virgin and never arrive..) The atmosphere has changed from standing room only too, perhaps its a change for the better but things progress. Enough waffle.
Everton FC deserve a stadium that evokes passion and intimidation. I hope to God that just because a vote on supporting Kirby does not mean thats the ONLY view the board has and will have come what may. Design is integral to passion, there is no reason why an intimidating design can’t also have the right viewing angles and corporate boxes. I just hope someone remembers its not an atheletic stadium we want its a gladiators arena
Danny Mullally
2   Posted 28/08/2007 at 09:44:36

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Adam,
If our motto meant anything to the board then we wouldn’t be moving to Kirkby full stop. Your argument although reasoned i basically an opinion. I would love to see the chinese "birds nest" stadium or the radical Bayern arena that changes colour, but hey this is the Everton board here, and what we cant afford we dont get. So Colognes ground it is then. Inspiring.
Karl Masters
3   Posted 28/08/2007 at 10:05:46

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I echo your sentiments, Adam. What I have seen so far has not insoired me at all. Whilst I appreciate it will be big, I also feel that there is nothing individual about the inerior - all 4 stands the same for example. It’s actually quite boring to look at.

Couple of other points. Danny: It is not much like Cologne’s stadium at all. There the corners are much more enclosed without those hideous enormous sheets of perspex on our design. We will lose atmosphere because of this. Also, theirs has towers in all 4 corners which gives it a bit of character ( we could have incorporated the towers from our badge - big opportunity missed ) and we could have more nods to the past inside such as the criss-cross balconies.

We have a bland design in the wrong location. I am not very impressed so far.
Steve C
4   Posted 28/08/2007 at 10:28:13

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It’s what goes on in the stadium that matters not the design.

I know its bland and basic but its a new stadium and something to look forward to.
Goodison is the best venue in England in my opinion because of the atmosphere and its wrenching to move from it.

But its a must. Everton don’t have the finance nor the backing to be bale to be fancy with the design either.

Brian Waring
5   Posted 28/08/2007 at 10:42:40

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Steve C,I don’t understand what your saying.How can something that is bland and basic,be something to look forward to?
Matt Dee
6   Posted 28/08/2007 at 10:49:00

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Adam,
I almost wrote exactly the same article myself mate. I’m not an architect but I used to study it and I think the proposals are pretty awful. For all the club’s banging on about the Tesco deal’s deliverability financially speaking, I would have hoped that any savings made on land acquisition etc. would be instead spent on an imaginitive architect. I’d guess that Barr Construction come as part of Tesco’s package deal and that EFC would have little say over that. No offence to Barr but their stadium work doesn’t come anywhere near the likes of Herzog & de Meuron, who have also designed Portsmouth’s cool new ground as well as the ones you mentioned. Ours, in contrast, looks like Bill has drawn it up himself - all that ’people’s club’ & branding crap everywhere. Very tacky. The club are sleepwalking into another retail park. I hope the scheme will be thrown open to competition to generate a few ideas.
david kiely
7   Posted 28/08/2007 at 12:47:34

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Well, unfortunately, there’s 15,000 Evertonians out there somewherwe who are quite happy with the design of that stadium - they must be, because they voted for it.

Personally, I’d like to see the current design stand. Let the fools who want to leave for it sit there and be underwhelmed for the next few decades.

They’ve made their bed, let them lie in it.
wes b
8   Posted 28/08/2007 at 16:46:50

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couldnt agree more, even sadder when we saw the turret/tower design by bestway, one word awesome!!!!

kirkby design one word Tesco!!!!!!!

that should become a swear word, one that describes something that bleeds the life, character and soul out of everything it touches

EFC sold out big time
Tony Miller
9   Posted 28/08/2007 at 18:26:11

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Regards the stadium it will be interesting to see more detailed designs in the future.

Saying that I believe around 64% gave it the thumbs up (leaving out the fact it was in Kirkby).

There is an old saying that "you can’t please everyone all the time"

On these boards lately it would apear " you can’t please some people anytime".

Reading the majority of postings lately, it would apear that some only support Everton in order to have a good bloody moan.
jimmy fearns
10   Posted 28/08/2007 at 19:10:56

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tony miller are you really keith wyness under a different name. all you ever do is give a negative response to anyone oppossed to the present plans for kirkby ,do us a favour and go and play on the m57
mickmac
11   Posted 28/08/2007 at 20:38:29

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Good article Adam. We all know that its the accoustics of a stadium which create an atmosphere. If we are to look at design, irrespective of looks and location it has got to have the right accoustics. Now I dont know how the Cologne stadium stands up to this but if it doesnt I agree its gotr to be looked a. If the board can answer that for me I will be happy
Matt Willey
12   Posted 28/08/2007 at 21:11:24

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Christine in Blue; I have to pick you up on one thing you said, I quote;

"I hope to God that just because a vote on supporting Kirby does not mean thats the ONLY view the board has and will have come what may."

I think, given the unswerving nature of everything ’official’ that the club has said about Kirkby that there is only ONE VIEW... there is no plan B and I believe this extends to the architectural plans... we ARE getting a carbon copy of FC Koln’s stadium because we can’t afford to invest in the imaginative, ground breaking renderings that we really deserve. ... its called Hobson’s choice i’m affraid.
Christine in Blue
13   Posted 29/08/2007 at 10:39:04

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Matt
I have to say I look in admiration of the plans for Liverpool FC and realise what I said about Kirby and the Stadium a while ago in reply to another post.
I cannot reconcile my belief that the whole package is wrong. Its done for all the wrong reasons. The stadium at Cologne is sterile, its function, its atmosphere is appalling! Its a bit like going to a Barry Manilow concert! a sobering experience!!
It doesn;t have to be a carbon copy, the inside construction can be adapted to make it a pressure cooker rather than a frying pan..lots of sizzle in the middle and bugger all at the sides!!
Mike Neely
14   Posted 30/08/2007 at 19:40:05

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I don't give a toss what any new ground looks like from the outside as long as the inside is four sided like a proper footy ground. As for the graphics on the OS, have a look at Goodison Park an tell me it's pleasing on the eye or a work of art.

Wes.B. The design that Bestway put forward looked like it had been done on a spirograph by someone in the remedial class. Nobody will ever convince me that oval or bowl shaped stadia are for anything other than meaningless sports. They are not for footy.

Christine in Blue; If you've been to the Cologne ground you must be deaf. The noise is unbelievable. So much so that it's deafening.

In the end we will get what we can afford. If that doesn't suit some people then dig deep in your pockets and make a donation to the club to upgrade. I've said before if there was a fund for a new ground I'd gladly give a grand. If everyone who was entitled to a vote gave a grand it would go a long way to getting us a world class four sided footy ground. Oh and the idea to keep the blue crosses on the stands, nice one, Karl M.

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