Dan Meis, the architect behind Everton’s planned new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock, has confirmed that he is “not currently engaged” in the project after reports emerged that British firm Pattern will take up the role of technical architect.
Pattern had worked with Meis on the designs of the 52,000-seat stadium, which Everton submitted a planning application for back in December. The Liverpool Echo newspaper now reports that architectural duties have been handed over to Pattern.
Pattern will work with construction company Laing O’Rourke, which Everton named as the preferred contractor for the stadium back in February. The Echo’s report added that Meis had been “offered a role” in the building of the stadium but he will seemingly not be involved going forward.
Posting on his Twitter account yesterday (Wednesday), Meis, whose US-based firm has led the design of the project so far, said: “Let me be clear. I am fully confident that Bramley Moore will be built. It is both right for the club and the city.
“Unfortunately I am not currently engaged in the project. How that was handled is one of the greatest disappointments of my career, and at the appropriate time I will comment. For now please understand that this is my personal Twitter account and believe it or not, not everything I write is a reference to Everton. I love this club and have loved the interaction.”
The Echo reported that Everton’s plan was always for Meis and his company to “step back” from the project after the detailed planning application was submitted, but Meis refuted this on Twitter.
Responding to the Echo, Meis said: “I am sorry but if this was ‘always the plan’ no one shared it with me. In my 30 years of designing stadiums I have never had our work taken over by another architect without remaining in a custodian/oversight role.”
A decision on Everton’s planning application, which was submitted to Liverpool City Council, is expected this summer.
In April, Everton submitted an outline planning application for the future redevelopment of Goodison Park, its current home, stating the plans demonstrate its commitment to the local area amid the planned stadium move.
The new stadium on Bramley Moore Dock is inspired by the nearby historic maritime and warehouse buildings. The brick base of the stadium will incorporate a nod to Goodison Park’s famous Archibald Leitch lattice work, while the roof will be made from steel and glass.
One of the main features of the stadium will be a large, steep home end which will house 13,000 Everton fans. In January, Everton announced that Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov had agreed to pay £30m (€33.2m/$37.3m) for an exclusive option on the naming rights to the stadium. USM Holdings, the holding company for Usmanov’s business interests, already holds naming rights to Everton’s Finch Farm training ground through a five-year deal signed in January 2017.