The Nou Camp

Thursday 30 Apr 2009

Construction of Foster’s football mecca delayed for 18 months

Kicking off in Barcelona this week, the finals for the Champions League were in full force. A staggering 98,000 fans flood into the Football cathedral that is Camp Nou for each match, most unaware that the clock is ticking for the historic stadium as it stands. A Foster-designed transformation has been on the table for two years, but construction of the redesign has now been postponed for 18 months.

The recession, however, has not been cited as the delaying factor, rather the re-qualification of the surrounding area, according to Foster + Partners who were informed of the unfortunate delay by the project's client. Inaugurated on 24 September 1957,Camp Nou has been the home of FC Barcelona ever since.

Host to numerous international matches, Camp Nou is already the largest stadium in Europe but Foster’s design is set to add a further 8,000 seats and create an exterior with panache in the home team’s colours.

At a projected cost of 250€ million, the evolution of Camp Nou will not only increase capacity, but will extend the middle aged stadium’s facilities to suit modern needs. Provisions for disabled people will be created throughout, TV broadcast and studio facilities will be added, and a new stadium Museum, public concourse, function rooms and hospitality facilities will transform the site from stadium to venue.

A new mosaic exterior composed of translucent panels will act as a rain screen around the sides of the stadium allowing naturally ventilated concourse areas and will glow with integrated lighting at night creating a beacon of the football icon.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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Sport in architecture

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