EXCLUSIVE: Lead architect on FC Barcelona's Palau Blaugrana project reveals details of mixed-use project and how sports design is changing

by Kim Megson | 18 Mar 2016

One of the lead architects behind the New Palau Blaugrana – a multi-sports and concert arena for FC Barcelona’s €600m Espai Barca district – has told CLAD how the venue's design will generate activity for 365 days a year.

In an exclusive interview, John Rhodes, director of sports architects HOK and a lead designer on the Barcelona project, revealed how the design will bring traditional amenities, such as bars and restaurants, outdoors while also facilitating a connection to the larger district with an ice rink, 2,000 capacity auxiliary court and two football fields.

“We wanted to respond to the wonderful Mediterranean climate and leverage it to an arena experience,” he said. “To do this, we've looked to create a public realm around the building so spectators can move around the outside of the building in a controlled environment.

"This gives the club the opportunity to ticket people at the entrance to the public realm, rather than the entrance to the building.

"It means the club can start pulling out some of the concessions outside, rather than have them all within the concourse spaces inside.

"Our starting point was to build a venue which people go to experience and there have been a couple of unique approaches to the design. The existing Palau is a very intimate venue, which the fans are very proud of. We wanted to take the essence of it – its energy – and make it bigger.”

Rhodes said there was a new trend emerging in global sports design – one which promotes activity and revenue-generation to ensure sports facilities can be used in a myriad of ways all year round.

Last week, Bjarke Ingels Group revealed their first major stadium design: a new home ground for NFL franchise the Washington Redskins. The design is also intended to promote mixed-use events on non-match days, and includes a moat for surfers, kayakers and ice skaters, an artificial stretch of beach and stadium walls which can be abseiled down.

Ingels said: “The one thing that everybody is excited about is the idea that the stadium is designed as much for pre-game events as the game itself, and we have found a way to make the stadium a more lively destination throughout the year.”

A similar approach was taken by architect Populous for the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in France, which opened in January. The design includes a large new area of public space which hosts pop-up events and a green car parking area that serves as a park on non-match days.

The New Palau Blaugrana’s main sports hall has a capacity for 10,000 spectators and is sat within a large bowl. It will primarily host FC Barcelona’s handball and basketball offshoots. A connected campus will serve the club’s football academy, FCB Escola.

The Espai Barca district is described by the club as “the most important sports project in Europe and the world.” It will also contain the Camp Nou stadium – which is being expanded by Japanese architects Nikken Sekkei and Spanish studio Pascual i Ausió Arquitectes – and a 6,000-capacity UEFA category III Miniestadi for its youth teams.

Palau Blaugrana  FC Barcelona  HOK  architecture  sports design 
Related stories

REVEALED: Bjarke Ingels' first NFL stadium will be surrounded by a moat for surfing

FC Barcelona selects Nikken Sekkei to redesign Nou Camp

Barcelona FC unveil New Palau Blaugrana and set out plans for €600m sports district

HOK win architecture competition to design multi-sports arena for Barcelona FC

Are Bjarke Ingels Group designing their first NFL stadium?

Populous complete Euro 2016 stadium in Lyon

One of the lead architects behind the New Palau Blaugrana – a multi-sports and concert arena for FC Barcelona’s €600m Espai Barca district – has told CLAD how the venue's design will generate activity for 365 days a year. In an exclusive interview, John Rhodes, director of sports architects HOK and a lead designer on the Barcelona project, revealed how the design will bring traditional amenities, such as bars and
CLD,SAR,ARC,DES
The New Palau Blaugrana will host FC Barcelona’s handball and basketball offshoots and includes a campus for the club’s football academy, FCB Escola / HOK
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7558     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7558     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Painting With Light
Painting with Light is a team of professional lighting and multimedia experts who design and produce visual experiences that dazzle & shine.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
The Electric Lemon restaurant features glamorous interiors by Rockwell Group
"Further hotels have been confirmed for Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Seattle, Chicago and Houston"

Rockwell Group and Joyce Wang on the inspirations behind the guest rooms, public spaces, spa and gym at Equinox Hotel Hudson Yards

The hotel features two restaurants and two bars, including the Julep Herbal & Vermouth Bar
Olga Polizzi is director of design for Rocco Forte Hotels and also owns two of her own hotels
"On Via Sistina, everything breathes history. At the same time I wanted to reflect the modern hunger for the fantastical - Tommaso Ziffer"

Following the highly anticipated launch of Rome’s Hotel de la Ville, Rocco Forte’s director of design reflects on a fascinating project

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
The JG SkyHigh bar and lounge, with interiors by Foster + Partners and flowers by Jeff Leatham
Dana Kalczak
"If we had focused entirely on high tech in the hotel, the artistry we normally strive for would have been compromised"

Four Seasons’ vice president of design speaks to CLAD about working with Norman Foster and creating magical moments

The architects Dean Mackenzie and Hamish Monk
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

features
Thomas Woltz
"I am very proud of stewarding the largest public space to be built in Manhattan in a century"

The Wall Street Journal’s Design Innovator of the Year on designing the gardens at Hudson Yards and looking to the Native Americans for ideas on how to create a resilient future

The Royal Pool and Spa Suite has a private bio-sauna, steam sauna and jacuzzi
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

The book was published in 2019 by RIBA Publishing
Elina Grigoriou
"Temperature, noise level and colour affect our stress levels. As designers we should be asking ourselves, how do these things match up?"

The London-based interior designer and wellness expert hopes her new book will help readers understand how to design with wellbeing in mind

cladkit product news
1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium celebrates Southampton FC's history
Rainbow Design worked closely with KSS Architects to ensure the furniture matched the design vision
Lauren Heath-Jones
KSS Architects has partnered with Rainbow Design, a London-based furniture supplier, to create the 1885 Lounge at St Mary's Stadium, ...
Matteo Thun grows Allaperto collection with new suspended outdoor armchair
Megan Whitby
Allaperto, the lounge collection spawned by the partnership between design studios, Matteo Thun, Ethimo and Antonio Rodriguez, has been expanded ...
ASPA International launches handheld UV-C light disinfection lamp
The compact plug-in product can be used easily in a commercial spa or domestic setting to disinfect surfaces with UV-C light
Megan Whitby
For over 30 years, ASPA International has designed and built high-quality spas for the hotel, health and wellness sectors. During ...
cladkit product news
Metalline transforms London hotel with bespoke aluminium fins
The aluminium fins will form the façade of the upcoming Minories Hotel in Aldgate, London
Lauren Heath-Jones
Metalline, an architectural metalwork specialist based in the UK, has created a range of bespoke 3D twisted metal fins for ...
Tom Dixon collaborates with Prolicht to launch CODE lighting range
The product has three LED light sources: Dot, Dash and Grid
Megan Whitby
British designer, Tom Dixon, and Austrian architectural lighting specialists, Prolicht, have collaborated to unveil a new lighting range. Called CODE, ...
GT3 Architects: Placing people at the heart of our projects
In 2019 GT3 Architects were recognised with the ‘Best Leisure Architecture UK’ award at the International Property Awards
Tim Nash
GT3 Architects is a vibrant and creative practice that delivers projects across the UK and internationally from studios in Newcastle ...
cladkit product news
Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Hospitality veteran and Ritz Carlton co-founder, Horst Schulze, who brings more than 65 years’ experience to the table, has been announced as a keynote
Megan Whitby
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as ...
Barr + Wray to launch space saving hammam concept
Light shines through a striking central chandelier to create a feeling of movement
Katie Barnes
Smaller footprint. Maximum theatre. Those are the two main features of a new hammam concept being developed by wet spa ...
Painting with Light pushes boundaries to create unforgettable visual concepts
The team combines lighting, video, sound and special effects, with scenic and architectural elements, to create unforgettable visual experiences
Megan Whitby
Belgium-based light and video design studio, Painting with Light, will translate the story of your location into a visual experience, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates