Hitting the Right Pitch – Technology Takes Over Twickenham Stadium

For the first time in history, pitch and event pioneers Polytan together with England Hockey, Polypipe and natural turf consultants STRI, have successfully transformed London’s Twickenham The Stoop Stadium to host the FIH Pro-League Hockey finals.

Just as the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games was the first major hockey tournament on synthetic turf, the Pro-League event at The Stoop has changed the shape of the game with the drop of a pitch – forever.

The world-class facility saw Great Britain’s men and women fight for victory against the New Zealand Black Sticks in a doubleheader, on a transportable pitch of stadium scale.

Dion Gosling, our Principal Architect, was invited as a VIP guest to witness this entrepreneurial era awakening of ‘Big Stadium Hockey.’

Also a former Black Stick, Gosling described the game as “flowing with energy, moving rhythmically to the swirls of music and the crowd’s cheer that surrounded.”

The seamless turf integration allowed fans to soak up the magical atmosphere of the renowned stadium; while the logistics enabled the occasion. All that was needed was for the players and spectators to bring it to life!

Access to the existing stadium infrastructure allowed a positive shift of investment from costly temporary venue fixtures, into a unique spectator experience built for hockey. The turf’s durability meant children could play on the pitch after the game without the risk of field damage. This extended the little fans’ experience to beyond the game and will help create life-long stories. England Hockey also gifted the young fans sticks and fluorescent balls to remember their experience. These personal touches are not common in international sport but were part of the event unique experience.

With initial concerns raised around the tolerance of the turf, run and speed of play, these proved to be a non-issue, due to the invested efforts of Polytan, Polypipe, and STRI – it was their time to prove that pitch functionality can be perfectly possible, even on delicate grass.

There is a positive and definite trend in sport architecture to optimise large facilities so that they can adapt to host multiple sports disciplines. This is driven out of revenue requirements, but also from a sustainable and community value-add perspective. This visionary event has proved how hockey can uniquely contribute to this movement and be part of the ‘Big Stadium’ sports offering. The world-class portable turf was designed to be safely installed as a hockey pitch over the existing rugby field.

Gosling describes hockey as “a leader in gender equality; progressive rule modifications; clever event offerings and competitions. The sport now gets the additional benefits of reuse and sustainability that portable pitches provide. Showcasing the latest turf technology, spectator experience and eco-practices, the Twickenham Pro-League event is sure to be the first of many successful ‘Big Stadium Hockey’ events to come.”

106 Architects think the opportunities for hockey are endless. Imagine hockey delivered on the world’s most outstanding venues and stages: Federation Square, Rucker Park, the Centre Court at Wimbledon, the Sydney Opera House terrace, the Auckland Waterfront Stadium, Bondi Beach! And that’s not all – not only can the purist of the 11-aside game be taken to Twickenham, but the event creators and marketers can introduce the world to other modified short-forms of the game like Hockey 5s in the centre of Barcelona or the streets of LA.

As an agile sporting practice, 106 Architects are inspired by technology’s evolution and its involvement in uniting communities, cultures and people across the globe. Dion, our Principal Architect, is a panelist and speaker at the upcoming National Sporting Convention (NSC) next month in Melbourne. The 2019 NSC has been developed in conjunction with Australian and New Zealand key sport, active recreation, fitness and facility peak bodies, and will align with Sport Australia’s Sport 2030 vision.

Dion will be sharing ideas about the role of sporting surfaces and Centres of Excellence, and how they embrace the latest technologies, as well as what our future facilities and neighbourhoods may look like if we want to activate communities.

Re imagining our community facilities and the urban environment is a key theme. Utilising existing infrastructure for new sports is just the beginning.

Follow our journey or learn more about our current sporting projects and events @106Architects or visit our website 106architects.com

106 Architects – On Its Logomark, Getting Set to Go

106 Architects | New Brand

With A New Look And Clear Vision

Studio 106 Architects has re-branded with its new look representing a commitment to delivering unique, high-quality, sport-community building designs and bespoke residential projects across the globe.

The essence of the new iconography evolved from the elementary geometries of the line and the circle — akin to the bat and ball of sport, or a simple line, stroke or marker. These two, simple shapes also acknowledge the basic forms of architecture – a straight line and a curve. Together, they combine to reintroduce 106 Architects as a forward-thinking global practice with clear clarity of purpose: the consideration of people and their communities.

The firm is now looking for opportunities where they can design and develop new sports projects in Australian communities, where the team can share their learnings with like-minded members of the sporting and design fraternities. To this end, Principal Architect Dion Gosling has been invited to address this year’s NSC (National Sports Convention) as a guest speaker and panellist.

Melbourne Moves, Rebrand Catalyst
With the global demand for sporting architecture expertise growing, Gosling recently decided to establish a permanent base in Melbourne.

“Setting up a base in Melbourne, a city known for its rich collaborations of sport and culture, felt like a natural progression for us and a good time to rebrand. Despite the move, I am committed to being across all aspects of all our projects regardless of its geographic location.”

Sporting Heritage, Global Language
As a former hockey Olympian, Gosling has a truly unique perspective on the importance of the synergy between the design of sporting and recreational infrastructure and the surrounding fields of play.

“My unique experience of being an Olympian as well as a practising architect has given me an intimate and functional understanding of the subtleties of sport – from the perspective of a participant and competitor and also as a designer,” he says.

Equipped with his exclusive combination of sporting insights and design knowledge, Gosling and his team are empowered to deliver successful projects of all types and sizes across the globe – from small, grassroots community sporting concepts, through to large-scale stadia designs.

“We actively seek out projects that have the capability and substance to inspire people,” says Gosling. “I strongly believe that the designs of the best sporting facilities and venues become a universal language that connect cultures and communities from across the globe.”

Client Centric, Design Driven
106 Architects has always been committed to building strong relationships with its clients.

“Before we start designing buildings, we build relationships,” says Gosling. “This is who we are and what we do. It underpins the success of our designs – designs that harmoniously bring together aesthetics, sustainability, functionality, on-going operations and budgets, with the wider social, cultural and commercial interests.”

In taking on larger projects, Gosling draws on his Olympic experience. “An Olympic campaign requires many people and a concentrated focus. You need to build your team and capability, and work together in a heartfelt manner.” The lessons learned across 12 years at international and community sport level mean collaborating is now second nature to Gosling:
“We simply look at a project as a campaign and then look for the right team mix. This means a project team can include other local architects, as well as multinational engineering firms.”

The time has been right to reinvent, but at the same time, to reinforce the brand’s commitment to the core design principles of ‘collaboration and ‘integration’ – the collaboration of people with and through sport, and the integration of sporting infrastructure with its surrounds, both physically and culturally. Despite the expansion and the rebrand change, 106 Architects plans to remain small and bespoke, so that it can continue to operate a studio culture, meaning we’re small enough to care but big enough to scale to large project scopes.” says Gosling.