One of the world's most well-known football stadiums will soon become a work of art as UK architect firm Foster + Partners puts its own touch to the winning redesign, it was announced last week.
The 50-year-old stadium – Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona, Spain – will be enlarged to cater for 106,000 fans and will include new facilities including hospitality and public areas, all inside a bright mosaic-style exterior showing club colours blue, yellow and red.
Foster + Partners Chairman Lord Norman Foster says the design will pull together elements of the Spanish society for FC Barcelona – originally designed by architects Francesc Mitjans-Miro, Carcia Barbon and Soteras Mauri in 1957.
"I believe that there is a wonderful connection between football and architecture," Foster says.
"Footbball is a powerful and democratic force that brings together all social classes in celebration, therefore a stadium, perhaps more than any other type of building, is a truly democratic space.
"The design of a stadium is the greatest expression of an architecture that goes beyond aesthetics to have a social agenda."
The stadium's roof, going by the Foster + Partners design, will not only look good, but will also shelter fans with a skin covering the existing roof.
Foster says the mosaic tiles represent the loyalty of the club's fans and their devotion to the team.
The project has been given an estimated cost of €250m and will start in 2008.
By Penny Jones