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How to become a...stadium architect

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My vision for the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium was to focus completely on the fan experience.

We worked closely with the club’s marketing and fan liaison teams and added innovative features that had never been seen in a stadium before, including a microbrewery on site, the world’s longest bar and an expansive food court within the south stand.

To integrate the stadium into the local community, we also restored two of the surrounding buildings.

We wanted it to have a phenomenal, intimate and noisy atmosphere in the seating bowl and offer supporters great food and beer in great spaces – and I believe we’ve accomplished that.

Stadiums are intriguing buildings to design.

They are large and increasingly complex projects that need to serve a functional purpose, but also need to embody the identity of a nation, a city or a club, while being an integral part of the local area.

The starting point for most projects is understanding what your client’s aspirations are, who will use the building, what they like and what is important to them. An architect’s job is to mesh these different aspirations together into one design.

The site itself is also really important. For instance, a project I worked on in Riyadh sat at the edge of a cliff, with a 300-metre drop overlooking the desert, so we drew inspiration from that.

That’s a difficult question as it’s like choosing which of my children is my favourite (I have three) – but the new Tottenham stadium is very special to me.

Some stadiums lose authenticity, so much so that they end up feeling like a food hall. You have a standard ticket entrance, you go through a certain gate, a certain turnstile and drink a certain beer that has been prescribed for you – we wanted the new Tottenham stadium to give its users more flexibility.

A stadium is almost always part of a much bigger master plan, too.

When we moved the Emirates Stadium from Highbury to its new site, it straddled Highbury Hill – home to some incredibly wealthy people – and stretched all the way to........

© Metro