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Foster out of picture as Barcelona looks at new £495m Nou Camp revamp

Foster + Partners has admitted it is no longer involved in plans to overhaul Barcelona FC’s world-famous Nou Camp stadium

The architect behind Wembley Stadium first revealed its competition-winning scheme for the Catalan club back in 2007 - a £174 million expansion project which would have added an upper tier underneath a new cable-net roof structure.

However the project, which had originally been scheduled to complete in 2011 (AJ 24.09.11), stalled due to the financial crisis and the club decided to look at a number of other options - including building a new stadium.

Now Barcelona FC has scrapped any possibility of building a new ground and has reverted to redeveloping its existing, iconic home - though Foster + Partners has not been asked to work on the scheme.

Yesterday (21 January) the club’s board of directors unanimously voted for a £495 million redevelopment programme, in a move that will see the Nou Camp’s capacity increased from 98,000 to 105,000 spectators.

Club president Sandro Rosell said: ‘The option of building a new stadium on a new site has been dismissed as the final cost could well mortgage the club’s future.’

The scheme includes a proposal for a new 10,000 spectator Palau Blaugrana, the club’s multi-purpose sports development located near to the stadium, and the development of an ‘Espai Barça’ of surrounding amenities in the location of the stadium.

Among the plans are for a new roof, a new, steeper first tier of terracing and a ring of boxes and restaurants overlooking the pitch, along with what are called ‘superboxes’ and other VIP services between the first and second tiers.

Rosell said: ‘This was a difficult decision. Both projects were very attractive, but our commitment was to submit to a referendum projects which were viable from a technical, urban planning and economic standpoint.’

He added: ‘The architectural plan of our current stadium is such that 56 years after its construction, it can serve as the base for our future project.’

The club plans to hold a vote on the proposals on the weekend of April 5/6, coinciding with the game to be played at the Camp Nou.

It is proposed that work would start, should the scheme be given the green light, in May 2017 and would take around four years to complete.

Rider Levett Bucknall was among the firms to advise Barcelona on the process of expanding the stadium.

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