A change of ownership at Liverpool Football Club was the catalyst behind the desire for a new, 73,000 seat landmark stadium, with substantially expanded facilities. Ramboll's structural, infrastructure and ground engineers were involved at an early stage of the design process for the Stanley Park site adjacent to Anfield, working closely with HKS architects. The new owners are keen to make reference in the new arena to the club's potent history and association with Anfield – home of the club since 1892.
The focal design element inside the new stadium was the reproduction of the single-tier terraces behind the home goal posts for 20,000 of the club’s fans, an area known as the Kop — a beloved feature of Anfield. The new terrace design was covered by a curved canopy to amplify the volume of Liverpool FC's fans in full voice. The rest of the structural design swept away from the Kop, providing a broadly rectangular building in plan from which the corners are cut away, providing glimpses of the stands from outside the ground.
The lightweight striking roof design spanned up to 160m, supported on raked columns at the four corners. The cigar shaped columns were composed of curved segmented steel tubes, a design that provided maximum strength through efficient design. An unusual foundation solution using inclined shallow pads was developed to support the roof loads via the columns to the fractured sandstone ground. To meet local building height constraints, cut and fill was required on the sloping site. Iterative 3D modelling of the earthworks was undertaken to help identify the most economical solution.
The facilities planned for the Stanley Park stadium include accommodation for use by the local community and the sports faculty of John Moore's University. A museum, shop and cafeteria should also encourage increased public use of the building. On completion of the new stadium, the Anfield arena is to be demolished and a civic plaza constructed on the site.