Everton’s striking new stadium will be clad in over half a million bricks designed to seamlessly integrate the huge structure with its dockside setting.
Construction work at Bramley Moore Dock has been gathering pace across the year, with all four sides of the forthcoming arena visible and a first installation of 713 exterior brick façade panels is now in place.
Each panel is computer-designed in a 3D environment before being manufactured from real bricks under carefully monitored factory conditions. Once hung to make up the four exterior walls of Everton’s new home, the end result will be a jaw-dropping, modern-looking blend of handmade craftsmanship and modern technologies.
Mike Young, a Principal Façade Engineer at Laing O’Rourke, explained: “These are real bricks, hand-made in Loughborough and then sent away to be cut into 520,000 different, individual half brick components. Each one has a special key cut into the back, so they are able to be cast into the concrete panels.
“There will be 731 panels in total and 240 brick coping panels that go on the very top to finish it all off and it’s a complex process in which with every panel has been individually designed in a 3D environment. This is the first glimpse of how the stadium is going to look aesthetically from the outside and, for me, as a façade engineer looking after all the external look, this is the first significant part of the envelope of the building, so it’s exciting. It’s been two years in the making to get to this point and it signifies that 2023 is going to be a very busy year.”
Once completed, the new Everton Stadium will provide an additional significant point of reference along the world famous Liverpool waterfront skyline. The decision to incorporate cutting-edge design and manufacture off-site, under carefully monitored factory conditions, rather than use traditional bricklaying techniques, is one that has many benefits, including quality assurance, sustainability, speed and safety.
Mr Young explained how building the cladding away from the stadium site had significant benefits to those involved in its construction. He said: “Off-site construction is significantly safer than traditional brick cladding methods, so the guys working in the factory are going to be far less exposed to various hazards that they would be on-site.
“When the cladding panels eventually make it to site, we have a team of four operatives working on the north west core, plus one in the crane and a couple of engineers, which is significantly less people exposed to the various hazards. If we were doing this in a traditional brickwork build, the whole building would be scaffolded and we would need heavy machinery to move around the bricks and other materials, so doing it this way shrinks the construction programme quite significantly. Another thing is that when the brick cladding comes to site, the quality assurance that is done in the factory far exceeds what we can guarantee on site.”
The eye-catching finishing touch will be the contrasting dark red brick pattern, interweaved into the individual panels to provide a visual representation of the historic Goodison Park latticework, first pioneered by the famous Scottish stadium architect, Archibald Leitch. It’s here that computer-aided …