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Brits among finalists for Barcelona FC work

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UK-based firms Populous, KSS, Make and Wilkinson Eyre are among a raft of international practices in the running to work on the revamp of Barcelona FC’s Camp Nou home

The eight teams vying for the main job to overhaul the Spanish giant’s stadium include partnerships between local and overseas firms such as Danish stars BIG, global giants Gensler and Japanese big hitters Nikken Sekkei.

Shortlisted teams for stadium expansion

  • Aecom and B720 Arquitectes
  • Arup Sport and Taller D’Aquitectura Ricardo Bofill
  • BIG, IDOM and BAAS Arquitectes
  • Gensler Sport and OAB
  • HKS, COX, and Batlle i Roig Arquitectes
  • KSS and Mateo Arquitectura
  • Nikken Sekkei and Joan Pascual i Ramon Ausió Arquitectes
  • Populous, Mias Arquitectes and RCR Arquitectes

The proposals are set to expand the stadium’s capacity from 98,000 to 105,000 spectators.

Among the plans are 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.

Alongside the teams vying for the new stadium a further six practices have been shortlisted to draw up plans for the club’s neighbouring basketball, roller hockey and handball arena — the Palau Blaugrana.

Shortlisted team for the arena (Palau Blaugrana)

  • Dominique Perrault Architecture and Massip-Bosch Arquitectes
  • GMP and GCA Arquitectes
  • HOK and TAC Arquitectes
  • Make and BCQ Arquitectes
  • Mangado Arquitectes, Bach Arquitectes , R. Sanabria Arquitectes and I Paricio
  • Wilkinson Eyre Architects and Alonso Balaguer Riera Arquitectes

Foster + Partners had originally been lined up to work on the new stadium but the project ran into funding trouble (see AJ 21.01.14). 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.

Early last year the club’s board decided to start again, but dismissed the idea of building a totally new ground.

The Camp Nou has been Barcelona FC’s stadium since 1957. Designed by architects Francesc Mitjans Miró and Josep Soteras Mauri, the 55,000m² stadium cost a whopping 288 million pesetas and its construction plunged the club into debt.

Club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, said: ‘We reviewed many documents and many proposals, and I think we made a good choice and I am very grateful to the jury their work. It is an independent jury, with experts in the world of architecture, engineering, construction, and thanks to them we can say that we are now starting this second phase, which is very important to the Espai Barça. 

‘We are very satisfied with the level of studies presented and we believe that those chosen include many of the best firms in the world that do this kind of sports architecture and in time we will see the fruits. Now we have to wait a few months to see the finalists’ proposals and reconvene the jury.’

The finalists now have until the end of the year to prepare detailed design submissions for the stadium contest before a winner is revealed.

Construction is expected to begin in 2017 with the stadium set to complete in 2021.

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