We have invited Grimshaw's Ben Heath who has a wealth of experience in designing for sports-led regeneration, to join WYG's Planning Director Paula Carney at Future Cities Forum, 'City Place Making' in London on 10th October.
Ben is currently working on the Bath rugby stadium redevelopment which includes major public realm improvements along Bath riverside.
The project is of high importance for the development of the wider city. Ben also led the redevelopment of the Number One Court for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, and has been involved in the grandstand and master-plan for the Curragh Racecourse, the grandstand at Lord's cricket ground, and a proposal to relocate Chelsea FC's stadium to a position above Waterloo Station.
Ben advises that : 'it is crucial that architects and planners think very carefully about how new stadiums contribute to the working and community of the wider city.
'One trend is for mixed mode stadiums offering much more than just a single sport for spectators, but also offering facilities for universities, work spaces and retail.
'It is vital that new stadiums do not create hostile environments, they need to be carefully integrated into the surrounding communities so that they do not become deserts on non-match days.
Ben states that Grimshaw Architects were appointed by Bath Rugby Club as they were the only practice to consider how the context of a new stadium related to the whole city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ben joined Grimshaw in 1997 and has delivered award-winning projects both in the UK and abroad. These include the Bijlmer ArenA Station in Amsterdam, Frankfurt Trade Fair’s Messehalle 3, Battersea Power Station, Bath School of Art and Design, the Lloyds TSB London Headquarters and the ExCeL London International Convention Centre. He has played a key role in establishing Grimshaw within the sports sector.