The West Stand
As Stadium for Bath put their latest plans on display at the Guildhall, we take a closer look at what the proposed West Stand and riverside space would include. If planning permission is granted it would be the first time there has ever been a permanent four-sided stadium on the Rec. The West side is seen as the commercial side of what would be a new home for Bath Rugby, with the “riverside park” providing various attractions for the public to enjoy...
The West Stand exterior
The top of the three-storey stand would have glass panels, set back from the outer edge to soften the visual impact on the skyline, and an open terrace with views across the city. The middle storey’s facade would be more contemporary, with anodised aluminium and glass to allow light in and views out, plus colonnades in a nod to Roman architecture. The ground floor would include pre-cast masonry in a style and colour to fit in with the Georgian architecture of Bath, and arches with echoes of the Roman Baths. Stadium for Bath have consulted Historic England in a bid to ensure, wherever possible, the outstanding universal values (OUVS) of a World Heritage City are considered.
The West Stand interior
The concourse underneath the West Stand would be the home of the “Market Hall”, promoting local food and drink producers, arts and crafts. It could also cater for pop-up restaurants and exhibitions on non-matchdays. With a communal dining area, the glass panel doors on the ground floor could be opened up
on matchdays. The first floor would have conferencing and event space, a Premium Lounge on matchdays and a 250-cover restaurant as well as a promenade with riverside views. The top floor would contain hospitality boxes. On non-matchdays there would be a tearoom, cocktail lounge and open terrace with views of the Abbey, the river and the city centre.
The 40,000 sq ft “riverside park” vision includes a paved terrace, steps, fountains, spaces for art and performance, a rejuvenated riverside path, a new pedestrian access from North Parade and a “walk of fame” celebrating the city’s sporting heritage. In an exhibition of Stadium for Bath’s concept designs in the summer, the idea of a bridge over to Parade Gardens - which is council land - was mooted. That will not be included in the planning application, but a “simple yet elegant” bridge across to a viewpoint on Avon Island near the radial gate is planned. There would also be the potential for moorings to “activate” the riverbank. A Stadium for Bath spokeswoman said: “The project provides a once-ina-lifetime opportunity to regenerate a neglected area of riverside in the heart of Bath; creating a new space for all to enjoy. “An enhanced riverside will contribute a significant public benefit for the city and the local community; improving the river corridor and this ‘river room’ in the heart of Bath. “It will also provide a unique and complementary setting for the stadium.”