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Barcelona ‘brings in’ Torrella to direct Camp Nou redevelopment

LaLiga football club FC Barcelona has elected to switch approach in the delivery of the redevelopment of Spotify Camp Nou, according to multiple Spanish media reports, by awarding a contract to Torrella Ingeniería – Arquitectura.

The locally-based company has beaten Nikken Sekkei, the Japanese firm which in March 2016 was selected alongside Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes as the winner of the tender for the design of the project, for the contract to execute and monitor the delivery of the scheme.

The decision does not imply ending Nikken Sekkei’s design for the new-look Camp Nou, according to Catalunya Radio, but will now see the two companies working alongside each other, with Torrella in the supervisory role. The decision is expected to be approved by Barcelona’s board of directors later this month.

Torrella is said to have obtained the best score in a competition for the contract run by Barcelona. However, the decision has been met with opposition.

In a statement, the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC), said: “We regret that the winning architects of the competition for the new Camp Nou project do not lead its continuity and the direction of the works. We believe that we must work to promote good architecture, making sure the quality criteria that the Architecture Law protects prevails.”

The latest news comes after Barcelona yesterday (Tuesday) provided an update on the progress of the project. The club said work is continuing, with mainly the third tier of the South Goal zone affected.

Preparation work on the zone started on September 1 with the removal of equipment and fittings, and the South Goal video scoreboard will be removed from Friday. This marks the start of the partial demolition of the third tier, making use of LaLiga’s break in play during November and December for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The work will consist of removing the outer ring, the South Goal façade cantilever roof, and half of the South Goal third tier, which acts as a counterweight. There are three scheduled demolition phases. The first involves the preliminary work up to the break for the World Cup. The second will see the partial demolition of the third tier, mainly involving the removal of the main structure, with new stairs and escape routes prepared to reuse the second tier seats that remain unaffected by the work.

Barcelona in July confirmed it would bring forward some of its planned renovation work at the Camp Nou in the coming months, taking advantage of LaLiga’s winter break for the World Cup.

In April, Barcelona detailed the timeline for its major renovation of the Camp Nou, with the club initially planning on demolishing the third tier in the summer of 2023. Some of this work will now be brought forward.

Barcelona said the partial acceleration of the project will save time ahead of the bulk of the work being done during the 2023-24 season, which the club will spend at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.

Image: FC Barcelona