|All you need to know about West Ham United FC's potential move to Stratford.
I was watching a programme on Sky that talked about the story of the design and build of the new Olympic stadium... I was only interested given our clubs interest so sat through it...
Some of the ethos of the design was surprising... it was to be a environmentally friendly design that was effectively temporary in its nature...
It has achieved its goal in terms of the reduced footprint and reduction in steel compared to other stadia worldwide however some points that I found of possible concern were..
The design and build was achieved on the understanding the stadium will be reduced in size after the games to accomadate 25,000 people therefore the life cycle of various aspects of the building were minimal in building terms.
The pitch was not designed for winter use... ie drainage, under heating etc
The roof material is not designed for winter use over a long period and will suffer from rain damage, (discolouration, movement etc) and only just meets loading from snow etc by the bare minimum.
The materials generally and especially for the aesthetic views of the facade are not designed for the long term... Indeed one architect said ...' Generally architects hate to use colour given how hard it is to maintain it over a period of time with effects of weather etc but in this case it didnt matter as everything was only for a temporary period during the games'
So from those and other comments on the programme and setting aside for the moment the concerns over views and distances to the pitch... I have become more worried that we could take on something that could be extremely expensive to maintain over a long period and possibly impact on the fixtures themselves or various parts of the stadia whilst fixtures are going on.. plus the financial implications to us as a club and most importantly the fans who usually end up covering those financial burdens..
So from that I think we as a club should not only be considering the stadium from a users point of view but also from a maintenance point of view... Its one thing to address the design issues as its use changes to a possible football venue but we must be sure we are not allowing ourselves to overlook the practicality of this builiding for our long term use.
Everything comes down to whether we as a club are considering not just the potential of the stadium as a footballing venue but also the suitability of the lease agreement in terms of the repair and maintenance obligations, the impact of ongoing maintenance work on attendance, fixtures and overall atmosphere.. like having the top tier empty or one end behind the goal etc.. remember Highbury?
All this just underlines IMHO why KB is hiding so readily behind the confidentiality clauses to ensure the momentum of this process cannot be stopped and most importantly the implications of this cannot be discussed or considered until its frankly too late.
Even the most generous comments from the architects said the design overall was at best a 25 year building and that only applied to various aspects of the design..such as the core structure etc as a lot of the more visible design aspects were much more temporary and designed with minmimal life cycle considerations and for temporary use over the period of the games and little beyond...
UTJ posted on here a few weeks back . Not quite true about the 25 years ~ the roof yes but that has to go anyway. The upper ties is bolted together and will need welding to lengthen its life.
Its rented... Maintenance costs are the landlords........
As you say not our problem!
Also these comments about a 25yr life span are not usual with modern buildings (although 50 is the norm), the reality is that it means this the life of building before it needs any major repairs/replacements, it doesn't mean it will fall down. It's a bit like many modern cars for the last 10-15 years they have been designed for a 7yr life but there are plenty of cars still running beyond their 7yrs.
So guys any news on what changes there might be to the stadium? I use to follow the OS news quite closely, but haven't kept an eye on it since they decided to open the tender process again. I take it the one thing we would be allowed to do assuming we win the bid is get a new roof. However what about the possibility of retractable seating, west ham coloured seats and wrap and of course naming rights? Or is it all incognito and we don't know? Thanks.
Depends on lease.
You know that for definite?
The comment of the 25 years was from the engineer... and I dont assume from that the building will collapse or that it is unusual in design terms... the key point is the attitude and approach created by the brief of the designers and specifiers and my concern is more from the fact that the basis of the design is for a 'collapsible' building and therefore the materials and specification choices have been made for a minimal longevity.... as I am sure a lot of you guys know from the comments here even when you design a building to minimise the life cycle costs those costs usually exceed those predicted costs.... so if those designing and specifying the building are working on the basis that the stadium does not have to last beyond the games because the stadium will be deconstructed for lower attendance (25,000) and the overall 'facade' of the stadium is again only suitable for the duration of the games then the 'best value' of this stadium is not suitable for a long term lease let alone a short one without what will be a further significant investment by the new users. The approach of the designers and more importantly the specifiers has also been driven by ever increasing costs and a need to reduce those costs as the build has progressed so when you factor in the ethos of the design along with the working brief and the financial constraints you can be certain that material choices and generally the specifications are not what you would expect as a client for a built to spec football stadium.
The idea that the maintenance and repair of the building will be the responsibility of the freeholder/owner is unlikely, at best the structure will be the owners responsibilty (the structure not being the issue) and the remainder being the responsibilty of the user.. it is that remainder that is being 'dumbed down' in durability and longevity terms and has on the face of it every likelihood of being underestimated in terms of the cost and impact of the need for maintenance provision.
Of course that approach from the brief also trickles down to third party certifications and approvals which in normal or rather more traditional developments couldnt been so easily influenced... not only do you have the fallback of the majority of the design being temporary but also the political drivers of such a development also influencing those other parties.
It would beggar belief for experienced and successful businessmen like Gold and Sullivan to enter into a tenant maintains lease, they may be many things but they aren't ****ing idiots.....
That's not to mention the executives of all the other applicants
Fishdo, if you wrote to Karen Brady and included all your valid points, I reckon she'd wipe her ass with your letter.
I saw this programme and what was interesting was the fact that they had to make the stadium more compact than other stadia due to the fact that the river Lea surrounded the site. They said that the first row of seats is much closer to the running track than would normally be the case and the tiers seem more banked than usual giving what they claimed was a more enhanced viewing experience. If this is the case, then with retractable seating installed it may be more suitable for watching football than we have previously assumed.
Yes, it was an interesting part of the programme. They tried superimposing other 60000 seater athletics stadia on the site, and they wouldn't fit. This is also why the food and drink pods are outside as there wasn't room for the infrastructure these require in the concourses.
I wish I'd seen the programme....
Small stadium for its capacity and steeper than usual terracing should be characteristics that make it more suitable for football rather than less.
Here is a link to a docu that sounds similar. Don't know if it's the same one though.
http://edocumentaryfilm.blogspot.co.uk/ ... -2012.html
Cost might be the landlords...but the problems would be ours.
Imagine having to wait for the landlord to fix things up that have come apart during the season? Think of the potential problems - health & safety issues, satisfying league rules etc, depending on the nature of the problem of course.
The fact that someone else is paying for it makes no difference to the incovenience caused to the tenant. Who will the landlord be, how long will it take for them to fix it, what will the quality of work be, and what money is there to pay for it?
Sounds like our problem to me.
Having driven past it last night with the floodlights on and having watched the programme about the innovation that went into it, what really hit home on me is that the floodlights, roof, and whole upper tier were only designed, built and paid for to be only used for 5 weeks ~ 3 weeks Olympics and 2 weeks Olympics. And unless we have a particularly bad summer the floodlights would only be used for around 100 hours for the evening sessions. Madness.
Etihad is rented TOME so is Swansea's stadium which is owned by the council ; < p
TOME, it's dangerous to view a commercial contract in exactly the same way as one may think of a domestic one. If you were renting a flat it may be difficult to get the landlord to fix the windows, or the lift.
In a major commercial venue these things would be maintained on a schedule, and anything outside that would be done pronto, especially if the landlords themselves were subject to public scrutiny.
You don't need to theorise. The stadium is there. I have sat in it. It could hardly be less suitable for football.
And I've heard a thousand and one others who've been there who say there's nothing wrong with it that can't be put right - Which ones are the chumps ?
Well please don't name the 1001. Not fair to embarass them.
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