Our work for Liverpool Football Club (LFC) has extended from proposals to build a new ‘Stadium in the Park’ to the creation of a ‘Stadium on the Park’.
This alternative route to the pursuit of additional capacity marked fundamental alteration in the approach of LFC’s new owners, with associated benefits for the community from which the Anfield stadium has grown.
Designs for a new stadium within the historic Stanley Park originally gained planning approval in 2004, but were soon supplanted by the Texan owner’s ever more ambitious proposals. They sought to design a world-class stadium for 80,000 fans, referencing LFC’s defining feature – the famous Spion Kop Stand.
By 2012, as LFC celebrated its 120th year, it was clear that Anfield was, and should remain, the club’s physical and spiritual home. Further changes in ownership (to Fenway Sports Holdings, owners of the Boston Red Sox) reinforced the club’s desire to remain at Anfield, redeveloping and expanding the existing stadium on the borders of Stanley Park.
Planit-IE supported LFC’s plans to integrate and extend the facilities into the surrounding Anfield and Breckfield neighbourhood, in collaboration with Liverpool City Council and Your Housing Association. Working alongside the partners we helped create the Strategic Regeneration Framework, combining numerous live projects and new, longer-term ambitions that would underpin the vision to realise lasting social, economic and environmental transformation. The resulting design guidance and development parameters shaped proposals that have guided the planning application for two new stands.
The successful application was supported by our LVIA, CGIs, verified views and detailed public realm proposals.
New public spaces, covering an area greater than that of the hallowed pitch within the stands, extend the influence of Stanley Park into the neighbourhood, to create a series of connected squares and plazas, that together form a green foil to the stadium. Throughout our work we have balanced the needs of the local community, who will use the spaces on a daily basis, with the sensitivities associated with the relocation of the Hillsborough Memorial; alongside the aspiration to maximise the fans’ match day experience.
We worked with the club to develop their world marketing and brand strategy associated with the launch of the stadium expansion. Virtual Planit created CGIs, real-time camera-matched videos, animations and immersive 360-degree virtual reality experiences to help LFC secure global corporate sponsorship, enhance strategic partnerships and market the expanded corporate offer.