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Design & Development

QPR opens doors to new training complex

Images: Studio Zoppini

English Championship football club Queens Park Rangers (QPR) has today (Wednesday) officially unveiled its new state-of-the-art training ground.

Located in Heston, part of the London Borough of Hounslow, the complex will accommodate the club’s first team, Under 23s and academy squads from the 2023-24 season.

The facility has been designed by Studio Zoppini Architects and delivered by a project team including: global design engineering consultants Buro Happold, planning advisors HGH Consulting, and contract administrators Arcadis. Construction was completed by Michael Brady Ltd (MBL) and all pitch works and landscaping by White Horse contractors.

The 27-acre site sits within the green belt, adjacent to the M4 motorway and residential areas, along with Cranford College. Studio Zoppini said it was imperative that the design was sensitive to its location whilst providing an “aspirational environment” for all the representatives of the club and a positive asset to the local community.

The domestic profile of the building enables an extruded form that enables internal zoning and spatial interest to key areas. The entrance is secluded, whilst the main social spaces of the gym and dining areas open up to views across the practice pitches and the surrounding countryside.

The building’s orientation and envelope has been designed to integrate natural ventilation and daylight – both introducing passive design measures and creating a better workplace for all staff, including players. The number of EV (electric vehicle) charging points have also been increased from the original plans.

Jon Tollit, senior consultant at Studio Zoppini UK, said: “Training facilities are the catalyst for the next generation and this building will provide a focus for the club for the years ahead, being flexible and adaptable to future needs. It is integrated and respectful to its Green Belt location, as it is to the local community. The project was a real ‘team’ effort.”

Buro Happold delivered a full range of multidisciplinary engineering services, creating a project with impressive sustainability credentials. The facility features on-site renewable energy regeneration with 922 square metres of solar photovoltaic panels, as well as extensive use of air source heat pumps.

It is expected that thanks to a combination of demand reduction, and low-carbon air source heat pump and renewable energy systems, the project will exceed its 35% reduction target over Part L 2013 baseline figures, achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’ certification.  Carbon dioxide emissions will also be reduced by 77% above Greater London Authority targets.

Buro Happold’s structural engineering team delivered carbon savings on the project, advising on lightweight partitions to minimise the loading on steelwork, as well as pushing for cement replacement where possible.

Parametric analysis shows that the timber partitions fins will create a 21% and 23% reduction in solar gain on the western and eastern facades, respectively. The project was also used to test Buro Happold’s embodied carbon tool, a resource that aims to reduce embodied carbon across all projects.

Steve Macey, director at Buro Happold, said: “It’s fantastic that QPR’s new training ground is complete and ready for its teams to start training ahead of the new football season. We’ve been involved over a number of years to consolidate the club’s first team with the academy onto a single sustainable site, and this is the culmination of all that hard work.”