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View from the Rec


Since publishing the scheme in early August, we've been inundated with messages of support for our scheme from locals and non-locals alike. We are truly grateful for all the feedback and advice we've received and we make an effort to respond to each and every one. If you'd like to add your voice to the discussion, you can fill out the feedback form at the bottom of the page.


We feature a selection of the messages here

from those who had agreed to have their comments published:

This plan is great. It’s what Bath needs. Imagine - one big benefit - the atmosphere inside the ground: two teams running out to start the game. Which team will be proud? Which team will be intimidated? Who will win? Bath will win. This stadium can be better than the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. The atmosphere will be superb. Bath will be superb. And then look at the surroundings. What a benefit to Bath. Please build it with Bath people and companies. By Bath - for Bath.

- Colin - 

I love Bath and was dismayed to see the official plans for the Rec - unfit for an an iconic Georgian city which surely can dare to ignore the general dismal pattern of modern stadia design and look back to Roman precedents, if anywhere can! I think it's a brilliant idea and deserves a full public airing as part of the decision making process. I hope that Bath Rugby will see this as a positive contribution to the debate.

- Helen - 

There is a real opportunity here from Bath Rugby to create something truly complimentary to the city. We also know that Liverpool lost its UNESCO world heritage site status because of unconsidered development. Do we want the same to happen to this wonderful place? Bath's Roman blended Georgian heritage is something of interest and it's why people flock to witness it. Why not embrace it and change the narrative on our preconceived notions on what a stadium "has to be" to create something that resembles what the users want? At the end of the day this is a public facility, not for a modernist architect's ego but rather everyday people who will get pleasure, cultural engagement and fond memories from this. What we are really talking about here is political willpower. Please go with this counter proposal Bath Rugby.

- anonymous - 

This stadium just has to be built. No messing any further.

- Rachel - 

I love these designs, Bath should be aiming for world class design and this captures what is being lost in modernism with a truly inspiring idea.

- Piers - 

I saw the plans for the proposed redesign of the stadium some years ago, reacted with horror and recorded my critical comments. In such a sensitive area, historically and visually, how could these plans be anything but a blot on the landscape? The open area of the river frontage is a wonderful asset and the natural beauty of this setting deserves breathing space around the architecture. The concept of a colosseum design with curving walls offers a more agreeable and spacious context for the stadium and linking it to an integrated layout with the sports centre is the only way to go.

- J. Harris - 

I am a resident in Bath and read about your plan for the Rugby Grandstand. I'd like to say I think this is sheer brilliance and want to encourage you in this project. What a fabulous idea. 

- Wendy - 

Your vision of the Rec would build a stadium which will be appreciated and lauded for years. Architecture on a grand scale which will enhance our beautiful city, not building to satisfy a demand. This should be built, this must be built. 

- David Waldman - 

I have lived in Bath for eleven years and in that time several proposals have been put forward for a new stadium, all of them hideous including this last one. I love the Apollodorus stadium - something for the city to be proud of. At last!

- Jennifer - 

I love Bath as a city - It is one of my favourite cities in the UK. I absolutely love great stadium design. Stade de France, Twickenham, MCG & Stadium Australia, in the US Soldier Field, and the old RFK Stadium in Washington are examples of where I love to spend my time. Your alternative Romanesque Coliseum excites me. It would be another reason to return to Bath more regularly to watch club rugby and to take my family to meet our Bath friends. Please do everything in your power to not let the Rec be wrecked with a poor rectangular design.

- Thomas - 

I am 100% behind the development of the Rec and always have been. However, I am in agreement with your statements and comments that the current design is a poor attempt at improving the current stadium. The coliseum idea is fantastic! It adds a real narrative to the stadium and I would support and encourage you to push this as much as you can. Great work.

- Phil -

I just wanted to write to say that this project is absolutely stunning. I first saw it on your instagram page only 3 days ago and have seen it shared and re-posted on many other pages since. It would be such a shame to see these plans rejected in favour of the original ugly proposal. 

- James Mitchell - 

I think the circular design you have envisaged would be a wonderful addition to our city. The current Bath Rugby design is mediocre by comparison.

- Sue Dray - 

As a Bath resident for more than forty years, I totally agree that the schemes proposed by Bath Rugby for a new stadium on the present recreation ground are totally out of keeping with their surroundings and that more investigation is needed along the lines you propose.

- Bath Resident - 

Your design engages with the city way more than the one Bath Rugby are proposing. Generally I prefer modern over pastiche, but your design is a much better solution, and, actually, I like the style.

- Dom Jenkins - 

I’ve recently come across your incredible Counter Project to Bath Rugby’s proposed development of the Rec grounds. So I wanted to email to say thank you for going to the effort of putting together such a perfect response to their concept. 

I feel like you’ve really pointed out the flaws of their ideas and provided a hugely better design that fits perfectly within the landscape of the city and its people. 

I’m not from Bath myself, but moved here 3 years ago and have seen so many opportunities for development around the city in the same classical styles that you champion. Whilst I haven’t studied architecture formally, I’ve always been in love with it and after Bath Rugby revealed their design, I had many ideas of what could be built; all of which were somewhat strangely in the exact style you’ve put forward! 

- Alexander Frow - 

When first I cast eyes on the oval-shaped stadium proposed by Apollodorus Architecture, something in me heaved a sigh of satisfaction and thought, ‘That looks as if it’s always been there.’ To look as if it has always been there is the highest praise you can give a modern building in a historic setting. Many Bath residents don’t live in Bath by chance - they have come here because they are attracted by the sheer delight of Georgian Bath. People from all around voted for Southgate to be neo-classical, and to this day you can sense the contentment among residents and visitors alike as they walk through it, despite clucks of disapproval from the brutalists.


I use the riverside walk a lot. Apollodorus’s proposal would work. It’s not so tall as to scream ‘I’m bigger and better’, it’s in proportion to everything around it, it feels right, it looks right, it enhances the riverside and it can stand up to being viewed from a distance – as if it had always been there.

- Yvonne - 

AT LAST!!! I've been saying this for years. 


Personally I detest modern, concrete jungle, stadia - Bristol's Ashton Gate a particularly good (bad) example. Good luck, it has my vote.

- Jon - 

Rather than something that will quickly become obsolete, we should build more of the classic. Bath deserves an arena that honors its Roman heritage!

- Jorge - 

I live opposite Bath Rugby Club on North Parade and am an avid Rugby fan having played and watched for two decades now. Having reviewed the Bath Arena proposal I am awestruck. This is what we should appeal to as a society. It is magnificent both aesthetically and conceptually. 

- Guy - 

 Finally a plan which embraces Bath's rich history and a structure that would be aesthetically pleasing, there's not many places in the UK that could house such a neo classical statement! A huge benefit to the residents and businesses in Bath as well as being a tourist attraction for years to come. A gem in the heart of Bath further enhancing Bath's presence on the worlds heritage stage.

- Abi - 

Thank you for preparing an alternative vision. It is very impressive and well thought through concept design, which is vastly more suitable for the Bath Rec than the 2023 proposals from Bath Rugby.

- Matt Davis - 

That concept is absolutely genius. Please find a way to promote this further and bring this incredible vision to life 

- Robert - 

The currently proposed BRFC design is replacing drab ordinariness with...drab ordinariness. How can that be acceptable on such a prominent and internationally significant site? The Appolodorus scheme will really put Bath on the map as a venue of high esteem for all sorts of events including Rugby 🏉.

- James McClune - 

Totally agree with all your comments. Proposed design could be anywhere in the Premiership, safe, modern, functional and boring. I thought we were going to have an iconic World rugby ground? Replacing the sports centre is an excellent idea, take out the Pavilion as well. I think the big issue is finance, how much will it cost to gain 3500 seats in the current design, 25,000 seats is a minimum.

- Martin Gorsuch - 

Absolutely superb design but obviously requires a JV with a bankrupt council. Too much isolated planning from BR and BANES

- Dan Dando -

Think the Colosseum idea looks really in keeping with the area compared with the traditional shape

- Grant Rose - 

I fully support the proposed new design and all aspect points. It is beautiful. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make something for bath that will stand the test of time. It is a modern day icon.

- John Mason - 

I agree with every detail of your critique of the Bath Rugby scheme. Your counter proposal would be wonderful, I sincerely hope you get the chance to build it.

- Nadia - 

You make some really clear points of how poor the current proposal is and how the images they have produced are misrepresenting the scale, impact and materiality of the design, which will not be easy for the public to spot when assessing the scheme. It is truly awful and I hope this has some impact to improve the ambitions of the stakeholders and public.


After the uncomfortable pastiche of the Southgate shopping centre, I am weary of the style which your proposal is rendered in. However, as I have looked at it more I think you have done a fantastic job in some of the key moves, which seem obvious and are missed opportunities with the current proposals. I think the public spaces you scheme offers would be great additions to the city. I can not believe how awful the proposal is, I know it will look even worse if they build it - what on earth is going on with those green walls? Lipstick on a pig! 

- Lucas - 

Such ambition. The Dilapidome - a dreary modern stadium that pales in comparison to the awe-inspiring majesty of the contemporary Bath Colosseum.

- nameorusername - 
post on Twitter

I personally love the “Colosseum” proposal - ties in with Bath’s Roman history and looks beautiful rather than simply utilitarian

- Liz Matthews - 
post on Twitter


We would love to hear your opinion - positive, negative or anywhere in-between - on both our scheme and the official one put forward by Bath Rugby. 


Such is the importance of the Rec and its environs that it deserves proposals, counter proposals and real debate.

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