AFL Architects | Southampton Football Club Training Facility
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Staplewood Training Facility

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A state-of-the-art facility for Southampton FC’s first team and youth academy. The design provides an aspirational environment that integrates the two teams and encourages the development and progress of the younger players.

An advanced recovery suite incorporates rehabilitation and treatment facilities, medical areas and a hydrotherapy pool. The rest of the development holds a gym, lecture theatre for functions, seminars and press briefings, office accommodation, changing rooms and dining/lounge areas.

Southampton FC Training Staplewood AFL Architects internal 3

The design draws its inspiration from its context; the edge of the New Forest.

The choice of natural unfinished timber cladding has allowed for the creation of a very contemporary architectural style and massing. The cladding wraps over every external surface of the building, including the roof, and is punctuated with large windows and deeply recessed balconies on the facades.

Where more privacy and shading is required within the building, the timber cladding extends across the windows as louvres and fretted panels. The timber is orientated vertically, contrasting with the horizontal massing of the building, the gently sloping rooflines, and the folding planes of the façade.

The scale of the proposed structures is intentionally restrained in this sensitive rural setting.

All accommodation is contained within single storey structures, although the spectator facilities allow access to the upper level below a slim line cantilever roof, affording weather protection to the spectator areas below.

Around the main building itself, the landscaping has large architectural hedges with angular forms reflecting the building form. These help to screen parking areas and frame the lawned areas and hardstanding at the entrance. Directly in front of the building is a shallow reflecting pool, lined with dark natural stone. The pool runs up to the walls of the building, around two sides, and a paved bridge leads across it to the entrance.

The architectural journey outlines a clear development pathway for young players.

Walking from the entrance, young players arrive at the first of the fields with the Markus Liebherr Pavilion in their sights. From there, players understand the way to progress to the first team. Within the pavilion itself, players are taken on an architectural journey through the building that ends with entry to the first team changing room.

These clear visual cues align with the club’s own training pathway, serving as motivation to young players to succeed and develop their skills. Linked to this is the connection the masterplan creates with players. Bringing the team facilities together means young players are able to work side by side with the first team and become an integral part of the club’s future.

Southampton FC Training Staplewood AFL Architects internal

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