On a tight inner city brownfield site Arsenal Football Club's new headquarters adopts the historical typology of a bridge building, literally building the office accommodation over the bridge and the public facilities underneath. The copper clad building is intended to act as a “gateway” marking the access to the new stadium on the quiet Victorian terraced lined Drayton Park Road.
Having been in their previous home at Highbury Stadium for almost 100 years, the Football Club wanted the design for their new headquarters building to speak of “permanence and longevity”.
Copper was chosen to clad the building because it was an “honest” material with a very long lifespan that would age gracefully. It also achieved the strong visual impact that the architects desired for the gateway building, while satisfying the strict sustainable objectives of the project and the onerous requirement of building adjacent to a railway.
Christopher Lee, Principal of HOK sport architecture said: “We selected copper as the primary cladding as it was one the few materials that gave a strong visual appearance initially and weathers and ages beautifully over time”.
The building is designed as a continuous copper surface with the expressed ribs of the standing-seam pre-patinated copper becoming wall, roof and soffit. The building uses a muted pallet of profiled glass, galvanized grating and dark block are accented by the maroon (Arsenal's original colours) glazed bricks and the vivid green of the patinated copper skin.