Sheffield engineering specialist SCX is in the running for a national architecture award, recognising the part it played in rolling out the world’s first dividing retractable pitch at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
The company’s partnership with Populous, the lead architect of the new stadium, has seen it shortlisted for Architectural Collaboration of the Year in the Architects’ Journal AJ100 awards.
SCX Special Projects – the bespoke engineering arm of the SCX group – will join Populous at the AJ100 ceremony in London on June 19.
The shortlisting highlights the design, engineering, and integration of the retractable grass pitch into the 62,062-seat stadium. SCX worked in close partnership with Populous from initial concept through to making the stadium a reality.
Throughout the project, Tottenham Hotspur played a central role in ensuring that the retractable pitch met its requirements for a truly multi-use stadium. And Hewitt Sportsturf, providers of the real grass pitch that sits in the retractable trays, was on hand to ensure that the pitch’s surface could be maintained to the highest quality expected of the Premier League.
The grass pitch retracts under the South Stand to reveal an artificial surface for American National Football League games and events such as concerts and exhibitions. This flexibility helps to fulfil Tottenham Hotspur’s ambition to create a major new sports and leisure destination in London.
Andy Whitworth, managing director of SCX Special Projects, said: “Our shortlisting in the prestigious AJ100 awards is fantastic news. It was a tremendous opportunity to work with Populous on such a pioneering project, and the results have justified all the hard work.
“Everything has gone smoothly, despite all the challenges of delivering a world-first moving structure on this scale. We have the world-class talent of our engineers to thank for that.”
The grass surface splits into three pitch-long steel trays, together weighing almost 10,000 tonnes. They can be rolled under the new South Stand to uncover the artificial surface in a process taking about 25 minutes.
Christopher Lee, Managing Director (EMEA) of Populous, said: “Populous is very proud to have worked in collaboration with SCX to deliver the retractable pitch at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. It is key to the stadium’s multi-functionality, creating the world’s first custom-built stadium for both football and NFL.”
The AJ100 Awards include categories such as practice of the year, building of the year, best use of technology and client of the year. The 2019 winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Tower of London.
The involvement with Tottenham Hotspur Stadium follows SCX’s success in securing contracts to design, assemble, install and maintain retractable roofs over Centre Court and No.1 Court at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, guaranteeing play whatever the weather.