The multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art facility will provide young people in the borough with better access to rugby, football and netball – further nurturing the rugby club’s links with local schools and grassroots provisions in the area.
As well as a new rugby clubhouse, the venue has natural and artificial rugby pitches; artificial netball courts; a shop; stores; car parking; gymnasium; function suite; members’ lounge and bar, along with a separate apartment for the facilities manager.
Andrew Almond, Partner at the national property, construction and infrastructure consultancy, said: “The facility will make sport more accessible to young people in the area, encouraging them to learn new skills and achieve higher levels of fitness.
“Grasshoppers is a rugby club for the community, and the new facility gives the club the opportunity to strengthen and grow its current rugby and netball specialisms and success. The sports venue has been built on a previously neglected and underused site, with Grasshoppers’ former location being freed up for the construction of a new secondary school – improving local education and delivering a boost for the local economy.
“Our solution embraces environmental responsibility and future demand, using the latest in energy efficiency designs to create a highly green site. Photovoltaic panels on the roof contribute to electricity supply, with a combined heat and power unit providing hot water for the showers as well as serving the electric car charging point in the car park.
“A systematic arrangement of pipework takes rainwater from the roof, car park, netball courts and artificial rugby pitch in a large storage tank which supplies water for irrigation in periods of low rainfall,” Andrew continued.
Pick Everard delivered full, multi-professional services – including: project management; quantity surveying; architecture, civil and structural engineering as well as BREEAM, acoustic, sports pitch specialism and landscape consultancy services – for London Borough of Hounslow Council and Grasshoppers RFC.
“This is a landmark development for the area and is obviously of incredible importance for the club so we knew we had to create something that would exceed the ambitious brief,” Andrew said. “The design of the building facades has incorporated references to the club’s historic kit colours. These have been used to denote the main entrance atrium and the long canopy of the spectating terrace, through to the stadia seating.
“The form of the building creates a simple cloak to a complex variety of uses internally and provides a full-length elevated terrace for spectating and social events. A double height glazed atrium welcomes visitors and members with a glimpse of the pitches beyond.
“Visibility of the key internal spaces includes the gym and function suite, including a purpose-made trophy cabinet providing sight lights to the pitches from above. Grass banks around the perimeter of the build create further spectating vantage points and minimise the visual impact of the building in its open setting with the Metropolitan Open Land, which is green belt.
“Our considerable experience in the sport and leisure sector has enabled us to advise and support Grasshoppers RFC and the London Borough of Hounslow Council throughout this significant development and we are delighted to have been an active part of their future success,” continued Andrew.
Aun Qurashi, Project Manager at London Borough of Hounslow Council added: “The London Borough of Hounslow’s relocation of Grasshoppers RFC to a new home in Syon Lane has transformed a previously neglected and underused site into a state-of-the-art facility for the community sports club – allowing Grasshoppers’ vacated site to be freed up for construction of a much-needed new secondary school.
“The council’s masterplan for the new site was developed by Pick Everard’s design team into a striking scheme with excellent environmental credentials. Pick Everard’s delivery team ensured timely completion by the contractor in the face of significant challenges of adverse ground conditions and extreme weather. The council is very pleased to have worked closely with Pick Everard to realise this exceptional project.”
George Orishaguna, Director at Grasshoppers RFC said: “I truly believe Pick Everard and Dawnus have provided us with a facility unmatched for any club at our level in the whole country. This will enable us to improve rugby and netball for all ages while maintaining our fantastic Grasshopper ethos, with members, schools and the community very much at the heart.”
The work was delivered as part of the Hounslow Schools Programme and Pick Everard worked with Dawnus to complete the project.