Twickenham Stadium

Architect: WMA Architects
Type of works: design and manufacture of a high-performance bespoke channel system that matches the oval curve of the structure.

ACO Building Drainage, the UK’s leading specialist in drainage systems and corrosion-resistant building products, has supplied the external drainage components that serve the pedestrian walkways for the South Stand redevelopment at Twickenham Stadium, the home of English Rugby.

The grated channel system runs around the circumference of the south piazza of the stadium, perfectly matching the oval curve of the structure to reflect its design and architectural qualities.

Twickenham Stadium is the largest dedicated rugby union venue in the world, seating an impressive 82,000 spectators. The historic venue began life as a humble cabbage patch and was purchased by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) for just over £5,500 in 1907, hosting its first game of rugby in 1909. Today, as well as being the destination of choice for rugby fans from around the globe, hosting national and international matches, the stadium is used for major concerts, with bands such as U2, REM and The Rolling Stones having all performed there in recent years. Twickenham is also home to the World Rugby Museum, which was opened in 1996, providing visitors a walk through the history of the sport from its origins to what it is today.

John Gill, Associate Director of WMA Architects who were architects for the development explained, “The venue receives a huge number of visitors every year and the key is to keepingm them safe, while also ensuring maximum customer comfort and experience. As much of the access in and around Twickenham is exposed to the elements it was of paramount importance that a highly effective surface water drainage system was provided to ensure that the pedestrian areas remain as dry and safe as possible. A further challenge lay in finding a solution that was aesthetically pleasing to complement the architectural qualities of the stadium and follow the curve of the south façade.”

John Gill continued, “Approaching ACO was the obvious choice for the project as we knew that they could offer us a bespoke solution that could provide a proven high performance drainage system and create the perfect curve that we needed.”

The ACO curved linear gratings were designed and manufactured to the project’s exacting requirements from Grade 304 corrosion resistant stainless steel, to ensure a long service life. They also have a uniform depth to remove any trip hazard and also incorporate a heel safe feature, which eliminates the risk of heels getting caught in the system.

John Gill continued, “Having collaborated with ACO on previous projects we knew that their team would always be on hand to offer support to help overcome any difficulties and ensure that the drainage system would meet all the design and performance requirements. The knowledge and expertise from ACO throughout the project significantly contributed to the completion and success of the architectural and safety aspects of Twickenham Stadium”.

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