107oly_acq_Rethinking the playing field: the WHAT_football box

There is massive economic disparity in the income generated by the English Premiership and the amount of finance available at football’s grass roots level with the English FA unable to reconcile the needs of the professional and amateur game. This project does not try to resolve this economic imbalance through entering the quagmire of footballing political policies but accepts the situation ‘as it is’.  Could architecture save (english) football? Accepting that FC Barcelona today represent the pinnacle of footballing prowess, we adopt their training ethos of ‘think, think, think – space, space, space’. In doing so we accept that design intelligence can improve football and provide better, more accessible footballing spaces to play, train and demonstrate creativity.

The project is supported by Sport England, Play England and the English FA: the first WHAT_architecture Football Box is sited in Toxteth, Liverpool and has architectural features:

  • an artificial all-weather pitches / forget grass and mud: parents not forced to buy their kid’s fancy boots
  • pitches are smaller with less players per game = more space = more goals (21x greater density with 6 children per 100sqm WHAT_pitch compare with 22 premiership players over 7000sqm)
  • pitches come in various shapes: round, triangular
  • goals come in various shapes: tall, wide, basketball like
  • pitches contain obstacles


Leave a Reply