The world’s first all-timber soccer stadium is set to be constructed in the countryside of Gloucestershire, England. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the 5,000-seat Forest Green Rovers Eco Park Stadium will be powered by renewable energy sources, too, giving it the lowest embodied carbon footprint of any stadium in the world.
Like most of the architecture firm’s work, the stadium will have a curvaceous design, with nearly all of its wooden components left unpainted for an organic effect. Every element will be made of sustainably sourced timber, including the louvered cladding, roof cantilevers and framework.
“As a building material, timber is highly durable, recyclable and beautiful,” says Jim Heveren, Director at Zara Hadid Architects. “The proximity of the stadium’s structural elements to each other has also been determined to enable the seating terraces and floor slab to be made from timber. In most other stadiums, these elements are concrete or steel.”
The stadium will be the centerpiece of a new environmentally conscious development that retains the site’s “pastoral qualities.” Ecotricity’s Eco Park development is a 100-acre sports and green technology business park that will include state-of-the-art sporting facility, all-weather training pitches, a sports science hub and commercial office space.
While the design was first unveiled in 2016, its fate has been uncertain in the midst of a battle over planning permissions. Now, with the scheme officially approved, construction should be underway soon.