A new era begins for Liverpool FC

Last month, our new state-of-the-art AXA Training Centre for Liverpool FC officially opened its doors.

The new 9,200sqm facility includes a full-size sports hall, hydrotherapy suite, specialist sports rehabilitation suites, dedicated TV studios, press conference room, office accommodation and three new external pitches.

The new building is located at the northern end of the Club’s existing Training Academy at Kirkby, bringing the First Team squad to this site for the first time. The Building has been designed with two separate wings; one for the First Team and another for the Under 23 Team, linked by shared space between. The layout is designed to optimise the relationship between the existing academy pitches, the new training centre and new first team pitches. The building’s linear form and orientation present the maximum frontage to the pitches, establishing a clear, natural relationship between building and playing space. This composition also reinforces the separation between first team and academy, creating a private, secluded area for the first team players.

The Liverpool way values and the Club’s DNA have been interpreted in the building’s form and material language. A deliberately restrained palette of robust, natural and honest materials with an inherent simplicity has been selected and crafted into a dramatic form that fulfil the functional requirements of the Training Centre whilst also reflecting the strength and ambition of the Club. By controlling the materials of the building to a timeless palette, comprising brick, metal, glass and timber, the resulting appearance demonstrates a clear and strong identity which is impressive and instantly recognisable as Liverpool FC.

To ensure the facility is uniquely Liverpool FC, the club’s DNA, culture, history and brand elements are embedded within the building. Each wing has key references to fans, trophies, players and song lyrics, integrated in varying ways, but all designed together as part of the user experience journey.

Inspired by the “I bleed Liverpool red” quote from club legend Steven Gerrard, the team colour is subtly integrated throughout the building in the reveals between materials and in the wayfinding signage. The lyrics of Anfield’s most famous song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ are embedded in the glazed façade of the U23 atrium which also features a double-height concrete wall, cast with images of the crowd at Anfield.

Materials have been designed for dual function where possible; the perforated plywood panels provide acoustic attenuation for the large reception and circulation areas, and the YNWA atrium graphic provides essential solar shading to the south-facing facade. For a modern take on the Liverpool FC Champions Wall, the trophy line up is depicted in acoustic perforated ply panels and of course, includes the latest piece of silverware, the Premier League title.

KSS Chairman David Keirle said, “We are so proud to have been able to design a building which truly embodies the spirit of Liverpool FC and the values embedded in everything they do. It builds upon the heritage of Melwood, whilst setting new standards in the design of elite training centres and delivering a unique, motivational working environment for players and staff.”

For more information: https://www.liverpoolfc.com/news/training-ground