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FC Barcelona confirms design choice for the new Camp Nou

FC Barcelona has announced that the Espai Barça jury has unanimously selected the bid by Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes as the winner of the tender for the design of the new Camp Nou. The jury, made up of five FCB members, three members of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) and one member of Barcelona City Council, made its decision after a review of the different proposals by a technical commission in accordance with the criteria established in the regulations and requirements for the tender. The decision was made at a meeting held on Tuesday afternoon in the Ricard Maxenchs Press Room at Camp Nou.

The jury commented that the “Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes proposal stands out for being open, elegant, serene, timeless Mediterranean and democratic”.

They also said that it is “notable for its relationship with the environment, providing depth, creating shadows and making members the stars of the facade and of the open area at all times”.

The jury went on to say that the “proposal presents a very subtle attempt to intervene in the environment to facilitate circulation and achieve diverse urban usage in the Barça Campus and guarantees a clear and safe construction”.

And in conclusion, they said “In short, it is a unique solution, reproducing the characteristic vision of the grandstand and canopy, from the inside out, a silent and powerful tribute to the stadium built by Francesc Mitjans in 1957”.

International Architectural Tender

Last June 5 brought the start of the the International Architectural Tender to select the projects for the new Camp Nou and the new Palau Blaugrana. The bidding process began with the publication of the regulations and selection criteria. The tender was run over two phases and was conducted in collaboration with the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya.

The jury was made up of five members of FC Barcelona, four from the Board of Directors and one architect; three members of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes; and one representative of Barcelona City Council. The FC Barcelona members of the Espai Barça jury were Josep Maria Bartomeu, Susana Monje, Jordi Moix, Emili Rousaud and architect Juan Pablo Mitjans. The Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) was represented by its dean Lluís Comeron, and architects Arcadi Pla and Joan Forgas, while the Council was represented by its assistant city planning manager, Aurora López.

The first phase of the tender involved the pre-qualification of the different teams on the basis of the regulations and selection criteria. A total of 45 teams initially presented bids, 26 for the new Camp Nou and 19 for the new Palau, along with their credentials and evidence of their experience of similar projects.

In September 2015, the Espai Barça jury and technical committee selected, from the original 26 candidatures, eight teams for the definitive tender for the new Camp Nou. The teams had to be composed of one international studio and one local one, and had to base their proposals on the list of conditions published by the technical commission overseeing the tender, which was made up of the Espai Barça technical board, led by the director of the Patrimonial Area, William T. Mannarelli, and two architects from the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC).

The team formed by NIKKEN SEKKEI + Joan Pascual i Ramon Ausió Arquitectes was duly selected ahead of bids by: AECOM + B720 Arquitectes, AFL + Mateo Arquitectura, Arup Sport + Taller d’Arquitectura Ricardo Bofill, BIG + IDOM + BAAS Arquitectes, GENSLER Sport + OAB, HKS + COX + Batlle i Roig Arquitectes and POPULOUS + Mias Arquitectes + RCR Arquitectes.

The new Camp Nou

Work on the new Camp Nou is scheduled to start in the 2017/18 season and end in the 2021/22 season.

The design criteria states that all seats must be covered and protected from adverse weather conditions, the new roof must measure more than 47,000sqm and all seats must have a perfect view of the pitch, with the first tier being made steeper. Hospitality facilities will also be improved and new hi-tech LED screens added.

The winning team

The Japanese Nikken Sekkei company has been around for over 100 years and is one of Asia’s leading architectural and engineering studios. This company designed the Saitama Super Arena, the Big Swan Stadium in Niigata and the Tokyo Dome, all in Japan. This team is working with the Catalan studio Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes headed by Joan Pascual and Ramon Ausió, who have a long and proven history of experience in Barcelona involving residential buildings, office blocks and hotels, such as Hotel Diagonal Zero.

The Espai Barça sports district

The high-profile renovation is the biggest component of an ambitious €600m (US$651.9m, £467.4m) sports district called Espai Barça, which also includes the New Palau Balgrana multi-use arena, designed by US architects HOK.

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Images courtesy: FC Barcelona.