Zaha Hadid’s project for the first all-timber stadium in the world is one step closer to reality now that it has finally received planning permission.

A rendering of the overview of the stadium in a field
The stadium wants to be the "greenest stadium in the world" © Zaha Hadid Architects / MIR

Back in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects revealed details of their project for a stadium for an English football team, Forest Green Rovers, based in Stroud, Gloucestershire. The stadium, aptly named the Forest Green Rovers Eco Stadium, is the first one in the world designed to be built entirely out of timber.

A rendering of the ceiling details of the stadium
The architecture of the stadium is built to be "more ecologically sustainable and inclusive" © Zaha Hadid Architects /

“The importance of wood is not only that it’s naturally occurring, [but] it has very low embodied carbon - about as low as it gets for building material,” said Dale Vince, the chairman for the Forest Green Rovers. “When you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why it’s important”. It definitely is important considering that one of the main aims for this Eco Stadium is to be carbon neutral or even negative - an objective which will be achieved by having renewable energy generated on-site.

A rendering of the entrance of the stadium
The stadium will also be an area for public and recreational use for the entire town, not only to be used on matchdays © Zaha Hadid Architects /

Almost every element of the stadium will be made of sustainably-sourced timber, including the seating terraces and floor slabs which are generally made of concrete or steel in other stadiums. “Timber is highly durable, recyclable and beautiful,” it reads on Zaha Hadid Architects’ official statement.

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Now that the project has officially received planning permission, after applying for it a second time and making some adjustments to the original design, the development of the stadium and the entire Eco Park surrounding it can truly begin. The Eco Park will include sporting facilities like training pitches and a sports science hub as well as a tech business park and a nature reserve to create “an important addition to the community”.

A rendering of the pitch of the stadium
Seating in the stadium has been calculated so that everyone has an excellent view of the pitch and the atmosphere for matchday is maximised © Zaha Hadid Architects /

If you’d like to know more about the Forest Green Rovers Eco Stadium and follow its development, you can do so at Zaha Hadid Architects’ official website here.

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