We designed the Princes Park Stadium as a 4,100-capacity arena with two clear goals: providing a community regeneration project to become the permanent home for Dartford FC and becoming the UK’s first sustainable small stadium.
The £6.5m scheme incorporated a broad range of environmental features, including sustainable materials, additional insulation, solar panels and a purpose-built lake to harvest rainwater. What sets the design apart from other contemporary stadia is the bold use of engineered timber and green roofs for the clubhouse and terraces. These allow the scheme to blend in with its parkland surroundings, while at the same time remaining highly distinctive.
The scheme had to provide first class facilities for both players and supporters, to allow the club to operate up to Conference level football. The 2,000m² clubhouse is adjacent to the south terrace with the ground floor housing the main entrance, club shop, changing rooms and offices.
The first floor is divided into two main areas: a large community room and a club bar, both providing expansive views over the terraces and onto the pitch. These spaces were provided for the local community to hire for business, family, education and sporting events. Two first floor balconies give panoramic views across the third generation, artificial, community pitch which can be hired for education purposes, fitness, or friendly matches. This is complemented by new community changing rooms.
The successful opening of Princes Park Stadium has seen the local community throw their support behind their football team. Now, with proper facilities, all within walking distance of the town centre, supporter numbers have increased healthily. The use of public transport is encouraged with local Fastrack buses stopping at the designated stadium stop so that fans can arrive easily and without worrying about driving or parking.
DARTFORD | KENT