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HOK lands Barcelona FC arena job

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The London-office of HOK has seen off the likes of Make, Dominique Perrault and Wilkinson Eyre to scoop the contest to design a new multi-sport arena for Barcelona FC

The winner of a second, high-profile competition to overhaul the Catalan giant’s neighbouring Camp Nou stadium will be announced in the ’next few weeks’.

The AJ120 practice is working with local practice TAC Arquitectes on its design for the 10,000 capacity basketball, roller hockey and handball venue - a replacement for the smaller 7,500 seat Palau Blaugrana [’Blue and dark red palace’] built in 1971.

Full shortlist for the arena (Palau Blaugrana)

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

The victorious scheme was described as ’remarkably innovative’ and was praised for its ’permeability, flexibility and personality’ and its ’organic geometry’.

Work on the new Palau Blaugrana is expected to start in the 2017/18 season and complete by 2020. 

Meanwhile, 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.

The plans include 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.

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.

In 2014 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 288 million pesetas and plunged the club into debt.


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