Liverpool Football Club
2-stage Design and Build
The challenge – tackling a great football institution with skill and care
Taking on any iconic project is a challenge. Few football stadiums resonate more with their fans than Anfield. When Liverpool Football Club appointed us to handle their expansion plans, we knew that our work across football seasons would have to delight supporters, please local residents and respect the club’s culture and traditions.
The solutions we created – a superstructure for an intense spectator experience
Preparations started in December 2014, with completion in the 2016/17 season. The project sees capacity increase by 8,500 seats. The Main Stand is being redeveloped to become one the largest single stands in Europe, with best-in-class hospitality facilities, while keeping the ground’s traditional four-stand configuration. The design will ensure that the unrivalled atmosphere and spirit of Anfield is retained. According to the architect KSS it will ‘capture the unique spirit of the Stadium, using club and historic references to reinforce the intense Anfield spectator experience.’
Our work has become a spectator experience in itself. When in July 2015, we manoeuvred the stadium’s 650 tonnes, 140 metre-long roof truss into position with pinpoint accuracy, the feat was televised and watched by hundreds of people in the surrounding streets. LFC’s five million Twitter followers worldwide also had the opportunity to view the spectacular truss lift.
The new Main Stand will seat in excess of 20,000 spectators, which is over a third of the ground’s extended capacity of 54,000. This capacity will incorporate public amenities and a range of high quality hospitality lounges, executive boxes, VIP lounges, concessions and bars. It will also include a widened tunnel, new dugout and wheelchair viewing positions.
Outcomes, benefits & social value – reassuring the Liverpool legacy is our goal
Safe lifting: The roof truss lift was the first operation under our updated Catastrophic Risk requirements. We appointed an independent panel of safety experts which met three times prior to the truss lift to review the many complex areas, from the detailed design, to the heavy lifting, to the spectator control on the day of the lift.
Two important pieces of club history, the Shankly Gates and the Hillsborough Memorial, have been safely stored and will be reintegrated respectfully within the fabric of the new building.
The club’s famous crest and liver bird will feature prominently on the external fabric of the building.
The redevelopment has included an increase in the number of wheelchair viewing positions and improved disabled access and facilities.
The programme has been managed to ensure the Main Stand has been kept fully operational for every football fixture to continue uninterrupted. Prior to every game our match day liaison team meet with the Club’s safety team, stadium management and the Liverpool City Council Licensing authority to inspect the existing stand and the access routes in and around the stand, to satisfy that all the match day safety requirements are in place. A match-day Inspection Plan has been developed alongside the club and the city council and this affords the formal ‘handover’ of the Stand to the club.
We committed to provide placements for apprentices. Two of the bricklaying apprentices, both keen Liverpool supporters, took part in preserving the history of Anfield when they were involved in the removal and preservation of bricks from the Main Stand’s historic boundary wall.
At one of the local jobs fair we discussed employment opportunities through the redevelopment with more than 250 local people.