With the acquisition of the New York City Football Club and the development of Etihad City Football Academy, City Football Group (CFG)’s global expansion to North America has taken its first step.
The design approach for the academy facilities builds on research and innovation practices established through design and construction of its first two City Football Academies in Manchester and Melbourne, also designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects.
The new building in Orangeburg, New York, for the Club’s Men’s Elite Training Facility nurtures the talent and performance of elite football players and supports their treatment and rehabilitation; it is also designed to inspire youth players to grow with the team.
A circular dressing room of 32 lockers for the players is at the heart of the facility. All other player performance areas are positioned in direct proximity to this space and include a post-exercise aquatic recovery area, strength and conditioning gym, boot room, massage and medical treatment rooms, a team meeting room with theater-style seating, player lounge, dining hall, and other support spaces.
The strength and conditioning gym has been designed to accommodate the full team’s warm-up activities and houses dedicated equipment for the conditioning of players. The space also features a modular wall system - the first of its kind in the U.S. - which can be used for strength training, rehabilitation and isometric work. The gym opens onto an outdoor fitness area on a FIFA-approved synthetic training surface which allows pitch-side workouts outdoors. The soccer pitch is usable year-round due to undersoil heating capability.
The lounge and dining room serves as a central gathering place for all coaches, players and staff to create a family atmosphere, reflecting the Club’s priority that everyone eats together and feels that they are part of the same team.
First Team and Academy Coach offices enable collaboration and analysis of game strategy, while also providing accessible connectivity to the players. An open layout integrated with numerous conference and meetings spaces support discussion and collaboration in a range of group sizes.
Audio-visual systems reinforce the team’s data-rich analytic processes – such as the network of cameras in multiple locations, overlooking the soccer pitch, to record every training session from a bird’s eye view and inform the coaches’ data analysis of player performance – as well as global communications and conferencing facilities located throughout the building.