Goodison Park Accessibility Works

Everton FC

WOO architects has worked with Everton FC for about 20 years, since the Kings Dock stadium design, through advising the Club on alternative sites for a new stadium, to the recent transformation works to Goodison Park. Goodison Park is one of WOO architects’ favourite stadiums. Few stadia in the world have either the history or the memories that the ‘Grand Old Lady’ provides.

 

In 2016, after a competition, WOO architects were selected by the Club to design the required changes to Goodison Park.

The capacity of the stadium was about 39,000, which meant that a total of 187 wheelchair positions were required, with an equal number of ambulances disabled positions. Each was to have at least one companion, and where possible, further family and friends positions located adjacent. 75% of these positions were to be elevated.

As two of the stands were extremely old, for football stands, the Club commissioned both a digital laser survey and a structural survey of each stand. This discounted elevated positions in the upper tiers of the Bullens Road and Glwadys Street Stands. The access, steepness and lack of space discounted building in the Main Stand and the Top Deck of the Goodison Road Stand.

After thorough assessment, key locations for the new positions were identified behind the lower tier of the main Goodison Road Stand and at the back of the Park Stand. The Goodison Road Stand location was split either side of existing hospitality boxes, with both sides having some dated, underused and inefficient spaces that the club agreed could be demolished to make way for the new facilities. This allowed a new accessible entrance to be created at the north end of the stand leading to the new platforms and incorporating new lifts, toilets and concessions specifically designed for people with accessibility needs. The design of the new entrance continued the visual language of the existing stadium facade which had recently been re-clad.

The south location was more limited in space but after investigating and testing several options, platform lifts and other facilities were able to be fitted in, along with a Changing Places toilet in a new structure near the entrance.

 

These changes were made with minimal impact on existing seats, despite being in a prime location of the ground. This was due to thorough analysis and dialogue with the club to investigate implications of all options before work was started.

A key challenge to this project was working within an existing historic building and fitting in the facilities around the existing structures and existing levels while trying to meet accessibility best practice guidance. The work was also done during the close season so the timeline was very tight.

New disabled toilets were built to serve each new location along new evacuation lifts. A new Changing Places facilities was also built.

WOO architects brought its extensive experience to the design but perhaps the key intervention came from Club. In order to ensure the stadium capacity increased rather than decreased as a result of the works, the rear section of roof of the Park Stand was lifted and supported by significant structural changes. This meant all 48 new viewing positions had quiet spectacular of the stadium.

The aim was not just to improve the facilities for disabled supporters who visit Goodison Park but to truly enhance their all round experience, through greater comfort and convenience but ensure they felt part of the crowd at Goodison Park.

  • Client
    Everton FC
  • Location
    Liverpool, England
  • Project cost
    £3.3M
  • Stage
    Completed
  • Completion
    September 2018
  • Services
    Concept Design, Developed Design, Planning, Delivery
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