Ben Vickery and Paul Hyett have together amassed some 50 years of combined experience in the field of sports, entertainment and event planning and architecture. Prior to setting up their partnership, they held senior roles in two of the world’s leading architectural practices. This afforded them the opportunity to work on some of the best known, largest, and most important facilities around the world, but more than that, it afforded them the opportunity to participate in shaping the venues of tomorrow.
Perhaps more than any other building genre in modern times, the sports venue has enjoyed an unprecedented period of reinvention. From the football grounds of the past, with plenty of atmosphere but few comforts, a new level of expectation was inspired by a series of facilities such as the Emirates, Wembley and AT&T Stadiums. Buildings that offered greater levels of safety, comfort, amenity, functionality and delight.
But such buildings are inevitably more expensive to construct, maintain, and operate than the simpler stands that they so often replaced. By designing to maximise match-day and non-match-day revenues, new stadiums must be able to finance themselves and the clubs that play in them. But designing for the maximum revenue is only part of that process and is anyway contingent on the brief or programme for the project. This is where the experience of Vickery Hyett has been forged, honed, and re-honed. Their experience is dynamic, because as the sporting world and the business of sport responds to better quality and better functioning buildings, so the expectations of fans, players, facility managers and operators continues to grow fueling ever increasing demand for richer and more diverse offerings. This trend is sure to continue and along with developments in new technology, unprecedented health and safety challenges, and changing fashions it will fuel the requirement to keep innovating. Vickery and Hyett’s experience is as closely related to the design and delivery of projects as it is to brief writing and programmatic innovation.
That experience is now available to clients as a ‘high-end’ consultancy offering a complete service from the analysis of existing facilities to brief development, concept design, and procurement advice for new projects. As Employer’s Agent and Advisor, Vickery Hyett will lead clients through the complex process of feasibility assessment, project definition, brief formulation, concept design, team formulation, design development, business case assessment, funding, and finally procurement choice, construction and delivery. And almost unique in our field, we prefer to remain ‘client side’ throughout the entire process with one imperative throughout: the provision of top-class independent professional advice to the facility owner and operator.
When thinking about a construction project, the Owners or Managers of a sports building must clearly define what are his or her aims when thinking about a construction project. What are the problems that need solving? What additional revenue is expected? What will bring more fans to the events? Is a new building the best way to achieve the aims rather than upgrading an existing building? We can bring our depth of experience to bear to assist in ensuring the project aims are clear and that the route to achieving them is the most efficient.
Review of Existing Buildings
In many cases the first step in defining a construction project is to understand the existing building better. Are there safety issues that could be improved? Does the building function as it should? We can carry out reviews of existing buildings to provide Owners and Managers with a full report on their facility.
A clear brief will set out the requirements for the new or refurbished building, both in terms of numbers – room areas, seat numbers and such like – and in terms of more general aims like appearance and atmosphere. We can write briefs for projects based on information supplied by clients to set out the project aims and how they can be achieved.
An imaginative and efficient design will inspire all those involved with a project. Ben and Paul have been involved with award-winning projects around the world and can accordingly bring a rich and diverse range of experience to any project, be it a new-build, an expansion, or a renovation and re-working of an existing facility that is loved by the fans, the building owners and the wider community. These range from stadiums, training grounds, temporary planning for events to sports masterplans. We look forward to applying our experience and imagination to your project.
An early outline design will establish how the brief will fit on the site, how much any building work will cost, what it might look like, and in general whether the project will be able to meet its aims. We can carry out a study, bringing into the team other consultants such as cost consultants, engineers, transport specialists to give a complete answer.
We can assist building owners and managers with decisions about the best route to tender and construct a project then advise them throughout the construction process to ensure the best result is achieved and the project aims are delivered.