Spurs fans won't like trailing Arsenal, but the construction plan for their new ground was driven by the project team's experience building their rival's Emirates stadium

Engineering consultant AYH Arcadis is part of the team working on the new 8ha football stadium and ground for Tottenham Hotspur, alongside architects KSS and Make. The club is keen to minimise disruption to the football during construction, so the project team is planning to build the new stadium on top of the old one during two seasons.

Paul Mitchell, executive director of AYH, also worked on the Building magazine project of the year, award-winning Arsenal Emirates stadium. He takes us through the lessons learned from Arsenal, the perils he sees ahead and why he’s glad there isn’t a recycling centre on site.


New stadium build commences to the north of the existing stadium. The existing stadium remains in use at full capacity

Phase 1

“The idea of building around something came from Emirates. We spent the first eight months building around a waste recycling centre in operation for 18 hours a day, seven days a week. We had to work very closely with them and had to move their weighbridge and a civic amenity site. There was a post office which was operational for the first year until we’d built the new sorting office.”


Out of season, the North Stand of the existing stadium is demolished and the new pitch is laid

Phase 2

“The work is taking place over two seasons. This is a long process. It took us six years planning Arsenal stadium through to playing the first game. It looks complicated, but the logistics were worse on Arsenal. There will be more people than at the Emirates, but they will only be there every other week. There are loads of things to think about in terms of access; more figuring out as the design develops. It’s early days.”


The partially completed new stadium is in use for one season with a capacity in excess of the current ground. The remainder of the existing stadium is demolished

Phase 3

“We just finished our first public consultation and exhibition on Tuesday. It will take us a while to digest all these. The team owns a good deal of the land to the north of the current ground. We have to watch out for some listed buildings to the north. But at least we won’t have to lift sections of bridge over two sides of a live rail line, like at Arsenal.”


Out of season the remainder of the new stadium is completed, ready for the start of the following season

Phase 4

“It’s called it the Northumberland Park development because it’s not just the stadium, but a supermarket, 500 homes, a foundation office and a club museum. Making sure the club can remain in Haringay throughout construction is more than a cost issue. It’s vital for fans and retail. I’m a Tottenham fan so as you can imagine, it’s a pleasure to be working for Tottenham after eight years with Arsenal!”