Design & Development

Vision revealed for revamped Hampden Park

Featured image credit: Holmes Miller

Architecture firm Holmes Miller has revealed renderings of how a revamped Hampden Park could look with a retractable roof and a translucent external façade.

The Glasgow venue, home of Scotland’s national football team, opened in 1903 and last underwent renovation work in 1999. It has a current capacity of over 51,000.

New images, first reported by BBC Scotland and now available to view on Holmes Miller’s website, show a vision of 65,000-seat Hampden Park with a steep terraced bowl.

Holmes Miller was approached by the Scottish Football Association in 2020 to provide a new vision for Hampden Park. The firm was tasked with capturing the atmosphere of the ground and wrapping a “world-class” stadium around it.

The visual brief outlines the ambitions of a new Hampden Park and specific design cues as part of that. The retractable roof would transform Hampden Park into Scotland’s largest all-year indoor arena, Holmes Miller said.

The company’s brief also includes plans for fan-focused concourses with high-quality food and beverage outlets, moving the pitch closer to the main stand, and new west and east terraces that would serve as “Kop-style” home ends.

For matches of sub-30,000 attendance, Holmes Miller has also proposed curtains that would drop down to conceal the upper seating bowl, enclosing supporters to enhance the atmosphere. Existing south stand accommodation would also be retained and remodelled to form core accommodation areas such as the SFA football operation and VIP hospitality areas.

The “chameleon” exterior of the stadium would have the ability to change colour through DMX LEDs, with the façade and roof to emit teams’ colours on match days. Additionally, an elevated deck referencing the shape of Scotland’s coastline would sit above parking areas providing direct access into the stadium.

BBC Scotland has reported that funding for the project was partly predicated on a UK bid for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, which has been abandoned in favour of a proposal to host UEFA Euro 2028. Issues posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of government funding are also set to act as barriers to the project getting off the ground.

Holmes Miller project director Ian Cooney told BBC Scotland: “We were approached by the SFA in 2020 to provide a vision for Hampden – the art of the possible. Our vision was to capture the essence of Hampden – the atmosphere – and wrap a world-class stadium around it. Better views, better facilities, a better experience… while retaining the magic.

“The discussions continued with the potential of a World Cup 2030 bid, and Euro 2028 bid – of which we all await the outcome. As a football fan and frequent visitor to Hampden throughout my life, it was great to imagine what a new Hampden could be.”

SFA president Mike Mulraney has urged caution on the project, stating that his focus is on grassroots football.

Mulraney told BBC Sportsound: “If we are graced with a windfall of money specific for a national stadium the SFA has done the work for two or three plans to work from.

“Behind the scenes that kind of stuff goes on all the time. We need our grassroots facilities improved right now so if someone dropped me £500m (€584m/$630m) it wouldn’t be for a rebuild of Hampden at the moment.

“We have recently secured some pretty meaty money, quite a big chunky number – £20m from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and we are putting that into grassroots football.”

Last week, Championship club Queen’s Park agreed a deal with the SFA to return to Hampden Park for the 2023-24 season.

Queen’s Park played at the stadium from when it opened in 1903 through to 2021. The SFA formally took ownership of Hampden Park in August 2020 as Queen’s Park, its previous owner, looked to a new era at a redeveloped Lesser Hampden.