Fans attending the Quilter International match between England and South Africa at the weekend were the first to enter Twickenham Stadium via two new gateways.
The Rugby Football Union (RFU) commissioned London architects WilsonOwensOwens (WOO) to create the new entrance to the ‘home of rugby’, which also features new British Airways-branded turnstiles and welcome areas.
Specialist architectural practice WOO, whose previous projects have included London 2012, Emirates Stadium and the NFL Super Bowl, designed the new structures from standing seam zinc.
The gates are based on a temporary structure, initially created by WOO for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. They frame the main entrances to the Stadium from Whitton Road.
Each entrance also provides new high-tech turnstile and access systems, as well as weather protection for staff and spectators during security checks.
Either side of the main structures are two three-metre-high decorative gates, each carrying a verse of the hymn ‘Jerusalem’.
In addition, a new main entrance canopy features in-built LED screens, providing dynamic information and wayfinding information for match-day fans.
The project was led by WOO partner and co-founder Kevin Owens, who said: “Our work at Twickenham as lead architects for the 2015 Rugby World Cup demonstrated that the West Fan Zone of the stadium could be reinvigorated and transformed by a realigned perimeter and new entrances.
“We wanted to deliver a true and recognisable entrance for the real fans. A destination and arrival worthy of the Home of English Rugby.”
WOO was also tasked with reviewing the broader Twickenham masterplan.
The project has resulted in a rationalised western perimeter to the West Fan Park at the ground, which offers new flexible event and temporary activation spaces, as well as improved matchday access.
The development follows a landmark partnership signed this year between the RFU and British Airways, which has seen the airline become an official partner of the Twickenham venue with a rights package based on extensive stadium branding.
Twickenham is the world’s largest dedicated rugby venue in the world and the second largest stadium in the UK.