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Report - John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield - December 2012

tweek

meek
Regular User
#1
John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield - December 2012

Visited with fishbrain

Stuck a few of these up on this forum elsewhere, but decided the place probably deserves a thread of it's own.

Considering my proclivity towards rooftopping in Huddersfield, I just needed to get this one done at some point. Back in the area over the festive period, I ended up speaking to fish who was also back home for Christmas, and everything just fell into place. So chilled. Can't tell you how good it felt to be up there on a personal level.

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Stadium History

Huddersfield's football stadium was one of the first to be built after various serious disasters (notably the disasters just down the road in Bradford and Sheffield) and led to a total rethink of stadium design at the end on the 1980's. Situated beside the River Colne, on its completion this was the largest all-seater stadium in England outside of London's Wembley.

The stadium seats 25,000 people. It sits on a 50-hectare brownfield site bounded by the River Colne to the west, and the wooded area known as Kilner Bank to the east. The overall plan is a massive oval.

During planning and construction, the stadium was referred to as the Kirklees Stadium. It was built by Alfred McAlpine designed by HOK Sport. The stadium builders, Alfred McAlpine, entered into a 10-year sponsorship deal for the name of the stadium on completion. After the McAlpine, it became the Galpharm Stadium, and currently, the John Smith's Stadium after the latest sponsorship deal with Heineken in 2012.

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The stadium won the RIBA Building of the Year award for 1995 (now known as the Sterling Prize) - as it changed the way football stadia were constructed. The Sydney Olympic Stadium and Bolton's Reebok Stadium were quick to copy Huddersfield's forerunner. Other winners of the RIBA Award include 30 St Mary Axe (Gherkin), Peckham Library, Waterloo International Railway Station, Lord's Media Centre, The Scottish Parliament Building and Barajas Airport - so some fine company indeed for what was then a third division football club. It was the first time the award was won by a sports building.

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The decision to build a new stadium for Huddersfield Town was made in August 1992. Construction began the following year and it was completed in time for the 1994–95 season, enabling the club to move to its new base after 86 years at Leeds Road. When the stadium opened only the two side stands (the Riverside and Kilner Bank stands) were ready. The South Stand was opened in December 1994. Construction on the North Stand began in 1996 and it was completed in 1998.

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The defining features of the structure are the curved prismatic trusses supporting the roofs. Nicknamed 'banana trusses', they are aligned with the edges of the pitch and consist of two-pin long span arches. The steel trusses have been constructed using circular hollow section tubes, and in section form an inverted triangle with two compression booms uppermost. The metal deck roofs are suspended from the lower tension booms. The trusses taper at the pin joints. The largest trusses measure 140m and weigh 78 tonnes each.

Secondary transverse beams are connected to the tension booms at intervals. These taper as they cantilever to support the inner edges of the roofs. At their outer ends, the beams are supported by the stadium's perimeter walls.

Each of the four trusses is slightly different, as their heights vary according to the depth and height of the stand below. Use is made too of the Kilner Bank's elevation. The trusses are supported by thrust blocks, one at each corner of the stadium. These consist of square concrete slabs supported by angled legs, a bit like drilling platforms, they also support floodlight masts.

The lower tier of the North Stand is temporary, allowing the seating to be cleared in order to stage concerts... although the last time the club actually hosted a concert the headline act was Jon Bon Jovi.
:tumbleweed

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tweek
:Not Worthy
 

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