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Echoes of Wembley as CABE judges new Arsenal stadium

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The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment has told Arsenal Football Club that its designs for a new 60,000 seater stadium in Ashburton Grove are fine as an 'object', but disappointing in that they lack originality and fall short in the way they treat their surroundings.

The commission, which wrote to the stadium designer HOK Sport, Arsenal director Ken Friar, English Heritage and the GLA this week, said that the design would in its own right clearly achieve the club's ambition for a world class stadium despite lacking confidence and directness in its architectural expression. But it was 'far from convincing in the way it relates to its setting and surroundings', would appear 'bleak' on nonmatch days and 'could be anywhere and could belong to any top-flight club'. 'The client and architect both seem to us half-hearted, ' said CABE.'We believe this is short-sighted and against their own interests as well as those of the public.'

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