Work has officially started in earnest on the transformation of Spotify Camp Nou, with FC Barcelona president, Joan Laporta, stating that the new-look stadium will be “a collective dream for all Barça fans”.
The LaLiga football club on Sunday played its final game at the Camp Nou before its temporary switch to Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys – a 3-0 win over Real Mallorca. Barcelona brought forward some of its planned renovation work at the Camp Nou to take advantage of LaLiga’s winter break for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. A partial demolition project was completed in November, but the wider revamp is now set to begin.
The start of work has been preceded by the symbolic burying of a time capsule under the pitch, with a ceremony attended by a host of club dignitaries, local officials and key partners behind the project. Laporta was the last person to fill the box, placing inside the Barça and Catalan flags and giving a short speech in which he restated the importance of having a stadium located in Barcelona, in the Les Corts neighbourhood, where the club has played since 1922.
Laporta said: “Since the opening of Spotify Camp Nou in 1957 it has been our home and a source of pride for all Barça fans and we want it to stay that way. The new Spotify Camp Nou will become a reality, a collective dream for all Barça fans and at the same time it will be a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
“Now we have to go through a process, the construction process, and we must be excited about that. When we come back here, we will be stronger than ever. It will coincide with our club’s 125th anniversary, at the end of 2024, when the stadium will be ready for us to get what we want from it.”
Before the event held for the laying of the first brick, an official signing ceremony for the project was held involving all the relevant partners – UTE TORRELLA Arquitectura – Ingeniería i JG Ingenieros (site manager); Limak (construction); GPO Ingeniería y Arquitectura (project manager); SGS (health and safety); and executive directors of the project, G3, Betarq i Construcció i Control.
As the focal point of the wider Espai Barça infrastructure venture, the Camp Nou project will centre on an expansion of the stadium’s capacity from 98,000 to 105,000. The stadium will also be fully covered by a roof, while improvements to maximise its economic potential will be carried out, along with bringing the venue up to date in terms of innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility.
Barcelona last month finalised €1.45bn (£1.25bn/$1.55bn) of financing to complete the Espai Barça project, including the remodelling of the Camp Nou. In March, London-based WOO Architects was appointed by Turkish company Limak Construction to support the redevelopment.
WOO will work alongside Spanish company Ghesa, Australian engineer Robert Bird Group and crowd movement specialist Movement Strategies on the Camp Nou project. They will act as Limak’s design and delivery team for the transformation of the stadium.
In January, Limak was appointed by Barcelona to carry out the €960m redevelopment of its stadium. Barcelona in February retained the services of Japanese architectural and engineering firm Nikken Sekkei for the project. Nikken Sekkei will serve as a ‘design guardian’ for the revamped stadium. The company, in conjunction with Pascual y Ausió Arquitectes, were the winners of the competition to design the new Camp Nou in 2016.
In September, Barcelona appointed the joint venture of Ingeniería Arquitectura Torrella and Ingenieros JG to direct the next construction phase for the project.
Barcelona in December commenced renovation work at Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys in order to adapt the stadium to become its temporary home. The club in June confirmed an agreement with Barcelona City Council to spend the 2023-24 season at the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys while the significant renovation work is carried out at Camp Nou, which is due to be fully ready in its new guise in late 2026.