The RFU opens the new gateway entrances to Twickenham Stadium
Designed by London-based architects WilsonOwensOwens (WOO), two new iconic entrances to Twickenham Stadium, the Home of England Rugby, will welcome spectators and visitors to the grounds from this month. Formed from standing seam zinc, the gateways frame the main entrances to the Stadium from Whitton Road – creating a true sense of arrival to the venue. The gates will be in use for the first time at the forthcoming autumn international matches at the stadium.
The entrances are framed by simple singular folded zinc portal canopies and designed to create a heroic sense of arrival at the venue, providing an inspiring ‘first glimpse’ of the stadium. Based on a temporary structure initially created by WOO for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the new design complements the existing Poppy and Rose Gates in look and feel. Each entrance provides new state of the art turnstile and access systems, plus weather protection of for staff and spectators alike during security checks.
The main entrance canopy is capped by free standing zinc lettering announcing TWICKENHAM. The lettering is edge lit with subtle LED lighting, giving an understated and timeless classic feel to the spectacular new entrance. LED screens will be installed within the canopy to provide dynamic information and wayfinding information for visitors and fans on event and match days. Lighting will also be used on non-match days to provide a recognisable ‘moment’ for the many visitors to the stadium.
Either side of the main structures are two 3-metre-high decorative gates; each carrying a verse of the hymn ‘Jerusalem’. The graphic design and concept developed by WOO’s in-house team forms a singular text surface laser cut from treated sheet steel.
The project was led by WOO partner and co-founder Kevin Owens who said, “Our work at Twickenham as lead architects for the 2015 Rugby World Cup demonstrated that the West Fan Zone of the stadium could be reinvigorated and transformed by a realigned perimeter and new entrances. We wanted to deliver a true and recognisable entrance for the real fans. A destination and arrival worthy of the Home of English Rugby.”
In addition to the main entrances along Whitton Road, WOO has also looked at the broader masterplan with a rationalised western perimeter to the West Fan Park, delivering new high quality flexible spaces for event and temporary activations, and an improved entrance canopy and access from the neighbouring Cardinal Vaughn School site for match days.
Twickenham is the world’s largest dedicated rugby venue in the world and the second largest stadium in the UK. It staged its first rugby match in 1909 and is also home to other events including major concert events.