TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR STADIUM
Anyone who has spent time in older English soccer
stadia will attest to the often-claustrophobic
conditions experienced when ushered along the
cramped concourses. Heading for a halftime snack
is met with lengthy lines, limited menus, and slow
service, while the bathroom queues snake back to
“At the very early stages of design, we decided to
spend a chunk of the budget on an innovative
sprinkler system that would cover the entire building,”
explains Lee. “This allowed us to be more free and
creative with our food and beverage spaces. They no
longer had to be set behind fire shutters, so now fans
and visitors can see the food being cooked and watch
the beer being freshly poured,” he adds.
The Market Place, a new fan zone in the South
Stand atrium, features street food style market stalls
and Europe’s longest bar – a 213ft (65m) monolith that
is stocked by local brewer Beavertown.
In order to avoid the space becoming like a
“shopping mall”, as Lee puts it, Populous uses plenty of
exposed polished concrete, with bars and eateries
sporting on-trend tile work and brushed copper.
On top of this, the stadium features a selection of
fine dining establishments, a member’s club and a Sky
Lounge bar, which offers panoramic views across
London from the highest point in the stadium.
“The club has found that fans are deliberately
coming into the stadium earlier. Two hours before a
game there can be 7,000 people in the Market Place, all
creating a great atmosphere. The experience is what it
is all about,” Lee says.
The end result might be spectacular, but this was
a project that had its fair share of complications.
Tottenham Hotspur only planned to be displaced
from their home ground for a year, meaning a large
majority of the build had to work around parts of the
old stadium. In addition to this, White Hart Lane itself
is situated a busy London street, creating a logistical
nightmare of its own.
To throw another curveball in the direction of the
stadium’s architects, lead engineers BuroHappold and
the long list of suppliers, Tottenham Hotspur’s owners
struck an agreement with the NFL that would see the
stadium play host to a minimum of two NFL games
a year over a 10-year period.
“We received a call in 2015 from the club to come
down and conduct a peer review on how a moving
pitch might fit into an existing design of the stadium,”
18 www.stadia-magazine.com June 2019