LED Architects were invited by SCCC to take part in a limited design competition for a new pavilion building at The County Ground in December 2012. Based on a simple, yet elegant interpretation of a ‘traditional’ pavilion, LED Architects’ design was selected as the winning scheme and subsequently developed into a set of detailed proposals that form the basis of the current planning application.
The new building is given strong visual identity by an exciting canopy roof in combination with a new Media centre which is expressed as a separate projecting elevated element. The canopy provides sun and rain protection to the seating below and also the potential location for solar photovoltaic panels to form a large ‘solar roof’ to help meet the energy demand of the building.
Other key considerations of the design include the massing of the building within the historic setting of Taunton and its impact on views of the church towers. To this end, the canopy has been designed to be visually light-weight, ‘floating’ above the seats allowing views through the upper part of the building to the townscape beyond. Importantly, the building steps down towards St James Church giving full regard to iconic views from the north and north east of the ground with the church towers rising in the background.
In addition the proposed scheme also provides the following key benefits:
- approximately 1300 permanent seats over three floors for the public and members.
- flexible central room at first floor level for corporate use as well as press box use for international matches;
- five individual boxes also for corporate use which can double up for broadcasting requirements;
- generous café-bistro area with access from the main car park and concourse areas for use during match and non-match days;
- dedicated Media Centre with excellent views across the ground;
- rooftop terrace area used for corporate entertainment and also an excellent vantage point for TV cameras.
The new pavilion has been carefully located to ensure adequate boundary space for international matches at The County Ground.