BDP Pattern out-of-the-‘box’ BOXPARKs design



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BDP Pattern design approved for new Brighton and Hove fanzone Image: BDP Pattern

BDP Pattern’s (the sports and entertainment division of BDP, a global architecture and engineering firm) design for a brand-new Fan Zone at the American Express Stadium in Brighton and Hove, England (UK) has been approved by the Brighton and Hove City Council.

‘BDP Pattern’ stated that the new state-of-the-art, multiuse facility will open in the 2024-2025 Premier League seasons (August 17th, 2024-May 25th, 2025) to give the Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. supporters a whole new fan experience.

Manchester (UK)-based the Building Design Partnership (BDP) is an international interdisciplinary practice of architects, engineers, designers, and urbanists. BDP works closely with the users, clients and the community to create special places for living, working, shopping, culture, and learning across the world. Founded in 1961, it now has studios across the United Kingdom, Ireland, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates (UAE), India, China, Singapore, and Canada. The BDP has a leading track record in all major sectors including health, education, workplace, retail, urbanism, heritage, housing, transport, and leisure, and has won over 1,000 awards for design quality.

In March 2016, the BDP combined forces with Japan’s leading engineering practice Nippon Koei to form an integrated design group of genuine international reach. Sharing a philosophy which places an emphasis on design integration and community impact, the new group offers a unique combination of deep technical skills in engineering, architecture and the full range of design disciplines.

London (UK)-based the BDP Pattern is the sports and entertainment division of BDP. Pattern was founded in 2009 by Dipesh Patel and became part of the group in 2021. The practice is now a globally respected brand in the sports and entertainment sector. From their first project – the 25,000-capacity Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, UAE, which was completed in 2014 and reinvented stadia for hot climates, to the wind-harnessing athletics stadium for the 2019 Pan-American Games (the 5,600-capacity Athletics Stadium in Lima, Peru), BDP Pattern’s project are based on deep research, high technology design and simple implementation.

Founded on innovative rule-based parametric design, mathematics and beauty are the key research areas for the practice. Data analysis and computation underpins the firm’s design process. They have delivered venues for major global sporting events including the FIFA World Cup™, the Olympics, the Pan American Games, and the Commonwealth Games. The BDP Pattern’s experience encompasses the sports and entertainment buildings, sports masterplanning, hospitality, and revenue analysis. Its goal is to deliver projects that are innovative, culturally specific, financially sustainable, and respectful to the environment.

The BDP Pattern’s recent projects include two stadia for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, eight sports venues for the Pan American Games (a multisport competition for the athletes from North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean that takes place every four years, one year before the Olympic Summer Games), Lima 2019 (the 2019 Pan American Games held in Lima, Peru), the 63,000-capacity Suoyuwan Stadium in Northern China, and the Premier League team Everton Football Club’s new stadium (the 52,888-capacity Everton Stadium in Liverpool, UK) starting construction in 2021.

The 30,666-capacity Falmer Stadium, known for sponsorship purposes as the American Express Stadium and more commonly referred to as the Amex, is a football stadium in Falmer, Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, UK.

The Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club, commonly referred to simply as Brighton, is an English professional football club based in the City of Brighton and Hove, UK. They compete in the Premier League, the top tier of the English football league system. The American Express Stadium serves as their home facility.

The Brighton and Hove City Council is the local authority of the City of Brighton and Hove, UK. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-Metropolitan County and District Council combined.

‘BDP Pattern’ further stated that the proposed experiential building on site at the Seagull’s stadium in Falmer will provide a sheltered, semi-enclosed environment for up to 1,000 people to enjoy an unrivaled pre-turnstile and post-match experience. It will act as a new visitor arrival hub, meeting the needs of the fans and the visitors on match and non-matchdays with food and beverage (F&B) facilities complementing and enhancing the visitor amenities already available in and around the existing stadium.

The design of the new Fan Zone is inspired by the character of the United Kingdom’s traditional market halls as well as some more contemporary market spaces such as the emerging, BDP-designed BOXPARKs (a lively indoor market made from repurposed shipping containers that houses food and drink businesses). The geometry of the design fits into the topography of the existing landscape at the confluence of the South and East stadium outer concourses at the foot of the South Downs (a range of chalk hills in the South-Eastern coastal counties of England, stretching from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex).

It is designed as a two-story structure. The ground floor welcomes visitors into the venue through large, movable walls and then in to a central, double-height social space served by multiple food and beverage (F&B) providers. The first-floor level contains a further bar, seating and social space, all benefiting from views out over a market hall space.

The building footprint is defined by the railway boundary to the North and the external concourse of the stadium to the South and West. The platform facilitates seamless people movement for event-day crowd flows.

The roof of the new structure overhangs the building footprint, providing passive solar shade and shelter for the visitors, both inside and outside the building, including on the seating steps that are feathered into the natural slope of the site.

The Fan Zone will also double up as an industry-leading leisure venue on non-matchdays for sports screenings, music gigs and other events.

Jon-Scott Kohli, Architect Director at BDP Pattern, explained the design, “This Fan Zone at the American Express Stadium will be a best-in class experience for the fans to meet, gather and enjoy a variety of activities. It creates a much-needed, all-weather space that can be used throughout the year. We have used all our experience working with the Premier League clubs and designing similar multiuse venues, to create something that can be used widely by the Albion fans and become a hub for the supporters and the local community alike. We know that this building can accommodate away-match screenings, act as a fan zone for EURO 2024 (to be held in Germany from June 14th-July 14th, 2024) host student events, live music shows, and create opportunities for events that bring the people of Brighton together.”

Put in Paul Barber, Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of Brighton & Hove Albion F.C., “I am sure fans will be extremely excited to see these plans and the designs have been approved by the Brighton and Hove City Council, and this is another incredibly generous investment by our Chairman Tony Bloom. We all loved the BOXPARK experience on our two most recent trips to the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium in Wembley, England, and we wanted to give the supporters something similar for every home game at the Amex. The new Fan Zone will provide an excellent pre-and-post-match experience, in an even bigger pre-turnstile bar, with a modern and innovative fit out and a wide variety of food and drink offerings, using the best local Sussex suppliers wherever possible.”

The Brighton and Hove Albion Fan Zone will also have a positive impact on the local economy and the local suppliers, creating more than 50 full and part-time jobs.

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