Barcelona select architects, reveal designs for renovations Camp Nou
Barcelona have selected a design submitted by Japanese architects Nikken Sekkei and Catalan partners Pascual i Ausio Arquitectes for the planned renovation of their Camp Nou.
Barca's members voted in 2014 to accept a €600 million project proposed by the club's board, with the stadium to be expanded to seat 105,000 spectators along with the addition of extra corporate hospitality facilities and upgrades to the arenas used by the club's other sports teams.
Initial proposals were received from 45 different architectural firms from around the world, with eight finalists considered by a jury made up of club figures and outside experts.
The joint Japanese-Catalan bid was chosen in the end, as confirmed by a club statement which praised the "elegant" and "democratic" nature of the winning bid.
"FC Barcelona has announced that the Espai Barca jury has unanimously selected the bid by Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausio Arquitectes as the winner of the tender for the design of the new Camp Nou," the statement said. "The jury, made up of five FCB members, three members of the Collegi d'Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) and one member of Barcelona City Council, made its decision after a review of the different proposals.
"The Nikken Sekkei + Pascual i Ausio Arquitectes proposal stands out for being open, elegant, serene, timeless, Mediterranean and democratic. It is also 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.
"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."
Barca say that work is scheduled to start in the 2017-18 season and to be completed during the 2021-22 season.
In 2014, Blaugrana president Josep Maria Bartomeu admitted that partial naming rights for the new ground will be sold for around €200m to help finance the construction project, while denying that this would necessarily mean further links between the club and its long-time sponsors in Qatar.
These links have been strained through recent months. No extension to the current shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways has been announced, even though that arrangement ends in summer 2016.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Blaugrana director Manel Arroyo is due to visit Doha again in mid-March to try and get deal done, with the Catalan paper adding that other potential kit sponsors are also being considered.