Herzog & de Meuron’s planned new stadium for Chelsea Football Club has been unanimously approved by Hammersmith & Fulham Council
The £600 million stadium – a three-tier, four-stand bowl – will increase the capacity at the club’s Stamford Bridge home from 41,837 to 60,000. The gound will be enclosed by 264 brick piers, rising up and over spectators to support a circular steel ring connected to radial steel roof trusses 50m above the bowl.
The approval comes after scrutiny by the local authority for more than a year. The council wrote to the club at the end of last June to request more details on the development’s environmental and design impacts.
In a report to last night’s planning applications committee (11 January), case officer John Sanchez acknowledged that the council’s design review panel had congratulated the project team on the plans, saying the Swiss stars ‘had produced a singular, high-quality design solution from a difficult brief and a complex site [with] the overall permeability of the scheme conveying a lightness of touch for a building of substantial scale’.
He wrote: ‘The form of the proposed stadium has been influenced by its immediate surroundings, and builds upon the historic context of previous stadia on the site.
’The resulting design is a high-quality piece of design and a unique architectural solution. It would have the landmark qualities of a significant sporting venue with a clear identity, and would declutter and unify the site.’
The report also noted the use of brick as the main cladding material ‘as a means of placing the new design as the backdrop into an area which is predominantly characterised by brick’.
Herzog & de Meuron’s designs for Chelsea FC
While noting that the proposals would cause substantial harm to the Billings and Brompton Cutting conservation area, the planning officer said this was outweighed by the substantial public benefits brought by the scheme.
Herzog & de Meuron partner Jacques Herzog had previously said: ‘Pierre [de Meuron] and I have always admired traditional English stadiums because of their specific atmosphere and history. Stamford Bridge has a rich history and is located at the core of a vibrant neighbourhood. Unlike an isolated stadium, it is part of the day-to-day life of the local community.’
Approximately 60,000m² of facilities for fans will be contained within two continuous ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ rings of interior concourse facilities. The stadium will also include a club shop, museum and restaurant.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2021.
Herzog & de Meuron has designed a number of high-profile stadiums, including St Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland; the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany; the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in France; and the 2008 Olympic Games National Stadium in Beijing, China.
Herzog & de Meuron’s Allianz Arena in Munich