Leicester City FC’s new King Power Centre represents a major engineering project, that has transformed a former golf course into their purpose-built training ground and academy.



McLaren Construction Group for Leicester City FC

The purpose

The facility has been designed to blend into the surrounding landscape to minimise its environmental impact, while balancing ease of maintenance with delivering the quality aesthetics demanded by a Premier League club.

The domed, focal point building features nine meter high banked sides (formed largely from earth excavated as part of the build process) with a central glazed entrance with profiled flat roof. The Centre was originally designed to feature sedum on its facades with the boundaries blurring into the landscape through acres of planted woodland.

The Outcome

The height and curvature of the King Power Centre facades meant it would be impractical from a structural and cost perspective to lay a sedum blanket. Also, that solution would take time to achieve the desired aesthetic: an instant result was needed. We proposed an artificial turf to be used on the earth banks that formed the sides of the Centre. This would achieve compliant weight loading within structural limitations and would deliver the immediate impact and low maintenance elements included in the brief.

The height, curvature and degree of incline across the facades meant machines could not be used. We manually finished the subsoil grading to create a surface that was visually correct. The field area was then overlaid with artificial grass, sculpted to fit exactly around circular air vents that penetrate the ‘walls’ and roof.

We laid cementitious board to provide a level, fire-safe and load-bearing surface over the main entrance profiled metal roof prior to manual laying of limestone chippings to a depth of 30mm for drainage. We supplied and planted more than 21,500 new trees and conifers chosen to reflect the indigenous species of the area.

The result

The resultant Centre provides a prominent focal point within the otherwise flat facility, yet with its green covering it blends seamlessly into the landscape.

By creating the King Power Centre walls largely from earth moved during the build process, the facility helped offset its environmental impact. By using artificial grass, we created the instant and permanently green covering that required no maintenance as demanded by the client, without impacting on structural integrity.

The woodland softens the facility’s boundaries. By using species native to the area, we have helped improve the biodiversity of the area and provided an important means of carbon capture. This in turn helps offset the overall carbon footprint of Seagrave. The trees further provide habitats for local fauna.

“The King Power Centre facades look visually impressive; they will remain so irrespective of the time of year because of Eco Solutions’ lateral thinking and technical expertise. With such a challenging construction, we knew Langley could deliver a practical answer to brief and to budget.”

Simon Ruddick, Senior Project Manager for Maclaren Construction Group