In the ancient English city of Bath, Apollodorus Architecture has submitted an unusual proposal for the city’s planned rugby stadium. The striking concept is reminiscent of Rome and the Colosseum. The proposal is notable for breaking with the modernism that has otherwise characterized the country’s stadium buildings.
The site of the proposed stadium is called the Recreation Ground Stadium and is located in the central part of the city. It is also the home of the city’s rugby team, Bath Rugby.
The new stadium will primarily replace the team’s current Recreation Ground, which was built in 1894.
Several architectural firms have submitted proposals and Apollodorus Architecture is one of them. Their concept is, to say the least, very different from the other designs and is mainly influenced by the classical architecture of antiquity.
An architecture firm has revealed an alternative vision for the Rec – what do you think? 🏟️
— BBC Radio Bristol (@BBCRB) August 1, 2023
“Apollodorus Architecture specialises in classical and traditional design. Our work is rooted in research, scholarship and the experience of historic architecture, particularly that of the ancient Greek and Roman periods and the Italian renaissance”, it can be found on the architectural firm’s website.
Praised by Swedish architect association
The concept began with Bath Rugby submitting its own proposal to the city’s governing and decision-making body for the project – a proposal that Apollodorus Architecture felt could be improved in its own design and submitted a counter-proposal.
The studio is confident that its proposal would integrate more organically with the surrounding city than the proposed stadium.
– Architecturally, there is actually very little to speak of, says director Wilson Jones of the official ‘Stadium for Bath’ proposal.
– The new design put forward by Bath Rugby is clearly an expedient budget solution. In some respects, this actually makes it more successful and more likely to secure planning than the club’s previous proposals for the site, he told industry publication Dezeen.
The proposal is also welcomed by the Swedish association Arkitektupproret, an initiative that describes itself as “an ideologically independent non-profit movement working for more beautiful architecture, more pleasant cities and more humane living environments”.
Ett nytt förslag på en arena i den engelska staden Bath har precis offentliggjorts. Allt är ritat enligt lokal klassisk tradition av Apollodorus Architecture. Staden har dessutom slutat ge bygglov till fula modernistiska byggen. pic.twitter.com/SPyoGaZBrv
— Arkitekturupproret (@arkuppror) August 5, 2023
The general response to the proposal has been “overwhelmingly enthusiastic”, says Wilson Jones. However, he admits that a “very small number of architects” have reacted less positively.
– In a world that is rightfully becoming more broad-minded and tolerant of differences, the modernists’ puritanism when it comes to architecture often feels hypocritical and bigoted, he adds.
What many refer to as ‘uglification of urban environments’ has become increasingly common in architecture.
It remains to be seen whether the innovative concept of Apollodorus Architecture will be the stage for Bath Rubgy and its future victories.
is a city in the county of Somerset in the southwest of England. It is located in the Bath and North East Somerset district on the River Avon, 156 kilometers west of London. As an English city, it was granted a charter by Queen Elizabeth I in 1590 and gained administrative independence from the county of Somerset in 1889. Bath was founded in the valleys of the River Avon around natural hot springs where the Romans built baths and a temple, giving the city the name Aquae Sulis.
The city was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1987. The city has many theaters, museums and other cultural sites that have helped it become a major tourist destination with over one million overnight visitors and 3.8 million day visitors each year. The city has two universities and a number of schools and colleges.