Friday, November 2, 2007

Foster + Partners: new Camp Nou Stadium for FC Barcelona

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the stadium, the club issued and international tender for architects to develop a project for re-modelling the stadium. The aim of the project was to turn the stadium into an integrated and highly visible urban environment. Whilst not aiming for a substantial increase in seating capacity, proposals must accommodate a minimum of 50% of seats to be under cover.

On September 18, 2007, British architect Lord Foster has been chosen by the Catalan club to "restructure" the 98,000-seater stadium at a cost of €250m. The stadium will be given a complete facelift, with a mosaic of multi colored tiles in blue and scarlet, the football team colors, and red and yellow, those of Catalonia's flag. Construction work will begin in 2009 and is due to be completed by the start of the 2011-2012 season.


The architectural proposal described here places a strong emphasis on giving the stadium a vital and distinctive presence within the urban fabric it is situated.

The stadium will become well known not just for its distinctive appearance from within its seating bowl but also its dramatic new external architecture.

The design of the stadium’s exterior façade will allow for the stadium to transform itself between day and night and also between non-match days and match days. The stadium’s volume is enveloped within a mosaic veil of colored tiles. The tiles are a mixture of colored polycarbonate panels and colored glass panels. These give the stadium a distinctive outer skin which will make a visual matrix of color, shade and reflections.

At night the stadium will be energized by lights built into the façade to become a beacon to attract fans and respond to the excitement of the match itself. This appearance can be expected to place the stadium as a “must-see” venue for both football fans and architecture admirers who visit the city of Barcelona. It should be expected that the external image of the stadium will become a recognized brand for FC Barcelona.

Side Enclosure

The mosaic screen wrapping around he sides of the stadium is composed of an array of coloured polycarbonate panel tiles which embody the colors of FC Barcelona. The panels are fixed to a diagrid cable net which is tensioned between the roof level above he seating bowl and the ground. The accumulated effect of the screen will provide rain protection to the naturally ventilated spaces within the stadium including the public concourse areas.

From outside the stadium the mosaic tiles will create a vibrant effect of colors and reflections. From inside the stadium the tiles will filter the different components of the club colors into the various internal spaces.

External Facade Animated Lighting Effect

Integrated within the colored tiles of the side enclosure are special lighting elements which mean that the entire external façade can be used for animated lighting displays. The entire stadium enclosure will work as a giant screen which can project moving full-color images to the stadium surround. Such images can range from low-key ambient displays to vibrant and more detailed displays on event-nights.

The roof

The roof over the stadium carries an extension of the stadium’s external mosaic over the stadium seating bowl. The colors of the Club will also be seen in the soffit of the roof. The density of the colors reduces towards the inside edge of the roof where it blends into the sky. The roof enclosure is a lightweight translucent enclosure composed of colored polycarbonate panels fixed to the top surface of the cable net structure.

Visually, the roof provides an architecturally lightweight presence above to the stadium. The roof is supported by an efficient two-way pre-stressed cable net system spanning across the large dimensions of the Camp Nou’s seating bowl.


The remodeled stadium is designed such that its can be built with minimal disruption FC Barcelona normal football activity. The following are the main strategic objectives for the construction methodology:

• Avoid disruption to normal FC Barcelona’s football activity. All matches can be played as usual.
• The stadium’s overall spectator seating capacity suffers no reduction during the works.

• The new services road tunnel around the stadium is built around the outside of the existing stadium without affecting the existing structure.

• Primary new vertical circulation cores to the enlarged Upper Tier are built around the outside of the existing stadium.

• Roof construction can progress throughout the football seasons. Work would take place during the time between programmed matches and the work made safe and secure prior to each match.

• No temporary towers are required on the arena or over the seating bowl for the roof construction.

• The existing roof over the Tribuna can remain in position until the new stadium roof is completed over the west stand.

• The stadium remains open to visitors at all times. The stadium tour route may be diverted at some times according to works phasing.


In terms access and circulation, the most dramatic change that will be enjoyed by spectators arriving at the remodelled stadium will be for those accessing the upper tier. Instead of long ramps or stairs, all spectators will travel up to the upper concourse level by mechanical escalators from ground level. Six escalator groups are distributed around the stadium set within the new band of superstructure around the Camp Nou. Spectators using these escalators will be able to enjoy views over the stadium surrounding as they rise up effortlessly the stadium’s new upper concourse level. Disabled spectators will have the use of lifts up to the upper tier.

General match day amenities

The remodelled stadium offers a dramatic amenity improvement for all spectators. The general public spectators will benefit from a huge increase in the numbers of
toilets available inside the stadium. On the newly expanded concourses all spectators will have access to a much increased number of food and beverage outlets
which should be able to offer a wider choice for customers. All such outlets will also have queuing areas provide to avoid congestion of the concourse circulation.

The quality of environment on the concourse is dramatically improved. Natural daylight is encouraged into the circulation spaces to create a more agreeable ambience.

No comments: