Rugby Football Union (RFU) – Twickenham Stadium

In 2015, England hosted the eighth Rugby World Cup (RWC). The World Cup is the third-largest sporting event in the world, and an estimated 450,000 visitors were drawn to England to participate in the event. Twickenham, which is the largest dedicated rugby venue in the world, played host to the RWC final, both semi-finals and one quarter final.

To accommodate the many World Cup spectators and athletes, Twickenham underwent an ambitious pre-World Cup improvement programme to improve the experience at
Twickenham for players, media and fans, as well as those viewing the matches from around the world. RFU instructed Turnberry to obtain planning permission for the key elements of this development programme, including essential infrastructure.

Improvements were focused on the key areas of fan and team facilities, movement, infrastructure, sustainability and stadium grounds. The vast majority of these developments were situated within the parameters of the existing stadium, improving internal lay-outs and finishing, and creating new facilities including seating areas, concession and WCs. Balcony extensions and other works have also seen the creation of new vibrant spaces within the stadium without extending the building’s footprint. Turnberry began work by addressing the requirements for the new energy plant and operational infrastructure. Other major works requiring planning advice included floodlighting, corporate hospitality developments and a new pitch.

Beyond providing planning advice, Turnberry also advised the RFU to look at the development proposals holistically, through a Development Framework process. Turnberry structured and developed the concept for this document, encouraging the RFU to look beyond initial improvements to the stadium’s history of expansion and redevelopment. The Framework document thus introduces the key improvements proposed for Twickenham, and places these in context of the stadium’s site, design, usage and wider community, establishing the patterns within the stadium’s long-term history of renewal since establishment in 1907. In addition, the Framework articulates the RFU’s goals for the World Cup, and how the improved physical estate will not only improve Twickenham but also seek to leave a long-term legacy of increased worldwide interest in rugby.