While waiting for the Barcelona City Council to vote on the approval of Espai Barça at the beginning of next year, the project has undergone a change of signatures that specifically affects one of the architectural studios responsible for the comprehensive reform of the Camp Nou . The Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei , winner of the contest, continues to lead, but the partners agreed to jointly carry out the gigantic work, Joan Pascual and Ramon Ausió Arquitectes, will be replaced at their own request by another firm, specifically by the firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Architects , with office, among other cities, in Barcelona. The Blaugrana club plans to make public this substitution in a statement signed by the parties involved (Barça directive and teams of incoming and outgoing architects), subject to the time of the corresponding confidentiality contract.
The Espai Barça project as it is known (it was approved in a referendum by the partners in 2014 with 72 percent of the favorable votes) could undergo some modifications to adjust to the allegations presented, among others, by four municipal groups , but the club hopes that they do not condition the general appearance of the project already set, both in the case of the stadium and in its immediate surroundings. Obtained the approval of the Town Hall would come the turn of the commission of Urbanism of the Generalitat, another administrative step of forced fulfillment. The signing of the office of Joan Pascual and Ramon Ausió will continue to be co-responsible for the project of integral restoration, while the commission of their substitutes will consist of the execution of the work in the coming years together with the Japanese company Nikken Sekkei.
The firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos will be the new partner of the main studio, Nikken Sekkei
After suffering some delays, the date scheduled today to start work at the Camp Nou is approaching more and more to the year 2019, which would lengthen its completion presumably to 2022 or 2023.
At the moment the construction of the Johan Cruyff stadium is underway, which will host matches of Barça B and the first women’s team in Sant Joan Despí, and when these facilities are ready, if there are no administrative obstacles, the demolition of the Miniestadi will take place. In its place will be built the new Palau, with a maximum capacity for 12,000 spectators. The Espai Barça includes an improvement for the neighborhood in terms of mobility (the barriers to be replaced by a kind of plant wall that will mark its perimeter will be removed, bike lanes will be opened and sidewalks will be expanded) and the construction of a hotel and a building of offices. The overall budget amounts to 633 million euros, which will be financed by the club in the following way: a third part will come from the Camp Nou business name, another from operating income and a third from a bank loan.
With the addition of b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, the Blaugrana club respects the condition imposed on including a local firm in its project because it understands that it will preserve in the final result an obligatory view of those who know first hand what a club like Barça for the city and vice versa. Among the recent works of Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos are the Itaim Tower in São Paulo (Brazil) and the new maternal school of the French Lyceum in Barcelona. Also the airport of Alguaire (Lleida) or the market of the Encants (Barcelona). The firm also has experience in associations with foreign offices, such as those that joined the French Jean Nouvel in the construction of the Agbar tower, next to the Barcelona Plaza de las Glòries, or the British David Chipperfield in the City of Justice , on the border between Barcelona and l’Hospitalet.
Barcelona City Council has received ten pleadings against the Espai Barça plan. Four of them correspond to the municipal groups that have made contributions to the project, ranging from the inclusion of neighborhood equipment to the implementation of improvements in private vehicle mobility on match days. Municipal sources note that four writings have also been received from private individuals and one from neighborhood entities that would correspond to the allegations presented by the Federation of Associations of Veïns de Barcelona (FAVB) that submitted an “amendment to the totality” considering that the FC Barcelona project does not comply with “legality”. The neighbors of the surroundings describe it as “new pitch”, since they consider that it is a hidden maneuver so that the club can build a hotel establishment and a neighboring building. The neighborhood reaction is a serious setback to the interests of the Catalan entity and the City Council, which had argued that Espai Barça had had neighborhood participation. In addition to the neighbors, a university institution has also presented allegations to the project that must be resolved in the coming days.