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Stamford Bridge Gates – a design competition

Chelsea Football Club’s planning application for an expanded stadium is pending and if the redevelopment goes ahead, we want supporters to help create it by designing a new landmark - the Stamford Bridge Gates.

The Gates will be one of the most prominent features of the site and their design is to be chosen by a competition, with the full details and the background to it given below…

Stamford Bridge is the bridge which carries Fulham Road over the West London Railway Line at the south-east corner of Stamford Bridge Grounds, historic home of Chelsea Football Club.

As part of the new stadium development, subject to planning permission, we are expanding the actual bridge, linking Fulham Road directly to the East Stand.

To mark this new bridge, our council of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham has requested a landmark set of Bridge Gates.

Respecting the heritage of the site, we are following the great London tradition of public design competitions for epic city structures, for example from Tower Bridge in 1876 to the Royal Parks competition for gates to Hyde Park today.

So the gates for Stamford Bridge will be designed by public competition, open to everyone.



The competition will be in three rounds:

Round 1

22 February to 24 March

All entries accepted


Round 2

15 April

A short-list of six will be selected and publicised by the Special Gates Committee


Final round

15 May

Two finalists will be decided by the committee and presented at the final home match of the 2015/16 season.

The winner will be chosen in the stadium.


The rules of the competition are simple in order to make the competition as easy as possible to enter.


Entries will be accepted from 9am Monday 22 February until the closing date of 12 noon Thursday 24 March 2016.

Details of where to upload or post entries will be announced on Monday.

Entries should be a minimum of one and a maximum of two design images, which can be hand-drawn in pencil or professionally produced by a design studio, or something in-between.

Size for hard copies: minimum size A4 paper, maximum size A2.

For digital uploads: please ensure the drawing resolution can be reproduced satisfactorily to the above hard copy sizes.

The Special Gates Committee will have 11 members and is intended to reflect the range of interests in the gates and in the Club; the committee will include representatives of the local authorities, heritage and design interests, local groups and the Club.



The design of the Gates should be based on this official stadium image from our architects showing the proposed Stamford Bridge (shown without Gates).

Location of the Gates

The Gates should be located just behind the row of bollards in the foreground.

Dimensions of the Gates

Width: The Gates should be approximately 15 metres in width.

Height: The Gates should be a minimum height of 3 metres to a maximum of 7 metres.

Material examples: metals, ceramic, glass, brick.

The design must be capable of fabrication to withstand robust and long-term use.

The Gates do not have to be symmetrical.

The Gates are to be working gates.

The Gates will usually be locked in a closed position on non-matchdays.

The Gates must fully open on matchdays.

A technical panel from the stadium project team will ensure the final designs comply with operational requirements.



The design of the Gates of Stamford Bridge must be inspired by the following contexts:

1)           Club identity

2)           Club heritage

3)           Design of proposed stadium façade

4)           Historic location of and on Stamford Bridge itself

5)           Surrounding conservation areas

6)           Borough boundary

7)           London landmarks (especially bridges and gates)



There has been a stone bridge fording a tributary of the Thames at this site for over six hundred years.

The current bridge was erected in 1863.

There is still a water course running beneath the railway line, which emerges at Counters Creek into the river today.

The first literary reference to a bridge here dates to 1410, in the eleventh year of the reign of Henry IV.

Henry’s administrators carried out an audit of civic infrastructure and surveyed that the existing Sanfordbregge was in 1410 in poor repair and in need of attention.

It is likely therefore that even earlier, wooden structures previously bridged the water course at this site.

A notice of repair was then sent in 1410 to the local lord of the manor, owner of the bridge, a record of which survives to this day.

The next found reference is from 1422, when a reminder note was sent to the bridge owner, as no repairs had yet been carried out.

2022 will be the 600th anniversary of the reminder note, by when we think it will be time to fix the bridge finally, hence the design competition.

By the time the Gates are installed, Chelsea Football Club will be welcoming the 80 millionth spectator to a home match at Stamford Bridge since 1905.

Good luck to all competitors – may the best design end up on the Bridge for the next 80 million to pass through!