The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd

Total football

Total architecture

FC Barcelona has decided it needs to expand and it’s not doing things by halves, with its ambitious €600m Espai Barça scheme. Kim Megson speaks to the people involved

The Spanish La Liga champion is internationally perceived as the club that plays beautiful football, the club that is owned by its fans, the club that fights for equality, the club that represents a city and an entire region, and the club whose values can be summed up in one word recognisable the world over – ‘Barça’.

The Barça brand appeals to fans internationally, and two million people each year visit the club’s home to experience the museum, buy the merchandise and tour Camp Nou – the iconic stadium the club has called home since 1957.

But despite this popularity, the club wants more. Operating in an ever more competitive battleground with the world’s most popular clubs – including rival Real Madrid, which is planning a stadium expansion and overseas theme parks – Barça’s board reached the conclusion it has no choice but to expand.

“We don’t have the luxury of ignoring other sources of revenue anymore,” says Jordi Moix, one of the club’s elected board members and the commissioner in charge of the club’s expansion dreams. “We’re an institution that wants to take advantage of its brand. If we want to remain independently owned and avoid raising season ticket prices and selling players, then we must create new value streams.

“We did it years ago by opening our museum, but we have so much potential to do more. It would be a sin not to,” he said.

While most football clubs dream of expansion, Barça has two precious commodities that make its ambitions feasible: ownership of 20 hectares of development-ready land in Les Corts, and a brand that can attract significant investment.

Moix and the board have imagined something particularly ambitious: a whole new Barça district surrounding Camp Nou, described by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu as “the most important sports project in Europe and the world.”

Espai Barça – a new district for fans
Espai Barça, or ‘Barça Space’, will be a pedestrianised, landscaped boulevard for all things Barça. The district will integrate with the city 24/7; a new neighbourhood of restaurants, cafés, sports facilities and the club’s museum, hotel and megastore.

“This is an open space for everyone,” says Moix. “We want to liberate this space for the neighbourhood. Espai Barça won’t be like an amusement park where you have to pay to enter. We’re a social club and we’re part of this city. It doesn’t make sense for us to build fences.”

The club hopes the result will be “every Barça fan’s dream” – a place they can call their own which will increase the club’s engagement with fans, its revenue and the value of its assets, boost sponsorship, improve conditions for its athletes, achieve environmental sustainability and generate activity 365 days a year.

At the heart of the project are three major infrastructure changes. Camp Nou will be completely revamped at a cost of €360m – with a new roof installed and capacity increased from 90,000 to approximately 105,000. A further €90m will be spent on building a new Palau Blaugrana, a multi-purpose arena home for the club’s basketball, roller hockey, handball and futsal teams, as well as an ice rink. Finally, the club’s Mini Estadi – a small stadium that hosts the club’s B-Team, women’s and youth sides – will be demolished and rebuilt alongside the club’s training facilities in a suburban district at a cost of €12m.

Alongside investments in parking, leisure amenities and community facilities, the total project cost will reach €600m.

Winning over the fans
Unlike a lot of developments overseen by sports clubs and franchises, the Espai Barça project has grown out of intense collaboration with supporters. The club’s 140,000 members, known as socis, gave their feedback on the proposed project, and sought assurances about its funding and viability, before being given the opportunity to vote on it in a special club referendum held in April 2014.

Over 70,000 members took part, with 72 per cent voting in favour. And with that, Espai Barça began to take shape.

One of Moix’s first tasks was to bring in a technical director to steer the project. William T. Mannarelli joined from sports and entertainment project management firm ICON Venture Group to oversee the development of a masterplan – designed by local architect Albert Blanch – and find the studios to build Camp Nou, the New Palau Blaugrana and the New Mini Estadi.

“Ever since the start of this, we’ve been doing things very differently than is the norm, but this is the Barça way,” Mannarelli tells me besides a giant model of the new Camp Nou at an exhibition the club has set up in the shadow of the stadium to explain the project to the public.

Firstly, international architects – including Bjarke Ingels Group, Populous and Wilkinson Eyre – were asked to find local Catalan partners to collaborate with, in what Mannarelli calls “arranged marriages which combined international muscle and local finesse.” The idea was to generate designs that recognised Barça as both a global entity and “the church of Catalonia.”

The design pairings were then given “tremendously long briefs” outlining in detail the concept, the site, the bigger picture and the financial restraints.

“Instead of giving them the brief and saying ‘see you in three months’, we decided to host workshops and be available to answer their questions,” says Mannarelli. “Each studio was given a fixed budget and reminded about feasibility, because we didn’t want to fall in love with any buildings we couldn’t afford.”

At the end of the process, Mannarelli’s technical committee reviewed the entries and submitted its recommendations to a jury of five FC Barcelona members, three members of Catalonia’s architecture association and a city council representative.

One by one this year, the winners were announced. Catalan firm Battle i Roig would design the New Mini Estadi. International architects HOK and Barcelona studio TAC Arquitectes would design the New Palau Blaugrana. And finally, announced at a press conference full of pyrotechnics and bombast – Japanese architects Nikken Sekkei and Catalan firm Joan Pascual – Ramon Ausio Arquitectes would redesign Camp Nou – a project combining “Catalan roots and Japanese vision”.

“The solutions we have chosen are the best at integrating Barça’s past and our future,” reflects Moix, now that the dust has settled. “The feeling I get is we’ve been successful in our choices. But now we have the task of explaining these designs to the public and winning their support.

“In Barcelona, everybody, in their soul, is an architect just as everybody in their soul is a football coach. This means there is pressure to get things right. As a board, if we get this project wrong we have to answer to the club’s members.”

Catalan roots, Japanese vision
Joan Pascual, local partner on the Camp Nou design team, certainly understands the pressures of redesigning Camp Nou. A Barcelona fan all his life, he first visited the stadium on a freezing cold day in 1961 to witness a bad defeat to Real Madrid, and “marvelled at the enormity of it all”.

Later, Pascual became an architect; designing educational buildings, social housing and shops rather than stadiums – until now at least – and for a time worked as an assistant professor to Camp Nou’s creator, Francesc Mitjans, at Barcelona’s university of architecture.

“I knew Mitjans, I know his work and I understand his spirit,” he says. “Importantly, I know his stadium. This understanding was a key element in our design for the new Camp Nou and our starting point was revision, not reinvention. There’s something about the soul of Barça that is special and has to be understood to build a stadium like this.”

When the competition to design the stadium launched, Pascual sought an international firm with the expertise and experience to partner on the project with his firm. After considering options in Europe, he remembered a chance meeting at a Tokyo social housing conference in February 2015 with directors from Nikken Sekkei. It was a serendipitous moment for them all.

“They invited me to their offices and established contact and showed me their work – including stadiums,” Pascual remembers. “When FC Barcelona started the competition, I thought of them on the other side of the world. So I suggested the project to them, and very happily they accepted.”

“Since then, we’ve had a lot of face to face interaction. There’s a language barrier, but we have translators and we’re speaking architect to architect, so we have a shared language in the same ways doctors in Beijing and London speak the same language. For us, it’s the language of drawings, sections and models.

“The design has certainly benefitted from this collaboration. Now it’s very difficult to say who had what idea. It’ll be the jewel in the crown of the Espai Barça district; an open space that acts as a gateway to the rest of the district.”

A Mediterranean stadium
The Camp Nou envisioned by the pair is a perfectly symmetrical ground – topped by a new 47,000sq m (506,000sq ft) semi-transparent roof – with a 360-degree perimeter partially enclosed by a glass façade at ground level. Twelve towers surround the stadium, allowing access to the upper floors. Interior concourses are protected by pitched eaves and will be free of barriers. On the upper floors three sky rings surround the outside of the stadium, featuring food and beverage points, seating areas and an open space for walking, relaxing and socialising.

It’s a design the jury hailed “open, elegant, serene, timeless, Mediterranean and democratic.”

“We’re very happy to receive this kind of comment, because it reflects exactly what we were aiming for,” Nikken Sekkei’s project manager Tadahiko Murao tells me from the studio’s temporary office hastily set up a few miles from Les Corts. “Now we’ve won the competition, we have to deliver. It’s very big for our practice, maybe our biggest project in some ways.”

Murao, and the stadium’s chief designer Takeyuki Katsuya, speak with quiet but evident excitement and passion about their winning design, and regularly explain aspects of the design by pointing at the jazzy renderings which take up every corner of their makeshift meeting room.

“We want to make a stadium of equality for all the fans,” says Katsuya, “and we want to make a Catalonian stadium, not only an FC Barcelona stadium. However, we’ve found expressing Catalonia is a very difficult challenge, particularly for political reasons. In the end we’ve achieved it by focusing on the climate of the Mediterranean.”

Katsuya and his design team first visited Camp Nou on a warm and pleasant day – quite unlike Pascual’s first experience of the stadium – and were soon imagining how they could place as many facilities outdoors as possible.

The result in the design is three striking sky rings, which will have seating areas with views over the pitch, the city and the sea. The Mediterranean theme continues with the roof, which is designed to reflect light as it changes throughout the day and will be illuminated in the club’s colours in the evenings.

“We’ve been very inspired by Barcelona’s real and rich history,” says Katsuya. “The sun and the sea, the historical buildings, the beautiful architecture. We wanted to reflect all that.

“We think about context for all our stadium designs. In Asia, we consider very different concepts, based on a different history, context and climate. But even though the inspiration is very different, the global technology and approach we have is the same.”

The biggest innovation, Katsuya says, is the extensive open space planned around the stadium. Amenities typically found in an interior concourse will be placed outside, with the floor rising to fold over them in polygon shapes “like origami”.

“We thought if we created a traditional concourse, it would disturb the flow and continuity between the building and the wider Espai Barça district,” he says. “We analysed the movement of people, and we decided to take away the concourse altogether. We’ve removed the walls and gates to truly open up the stadium and integrate it with the wider leisure district.

“People can come to Camp Nou on a match day and have a day full of excitement – visiting a café, the museum, enjoying the game then going for a meal after.”

Creating these experiences is the club’s ultimate goal.

“Our job – our mandate in fact – is to create an infrastructure that reflects this amazing brand,” says Mannarelli. “It’s like you come to Barcelona for the food, the architecture, the beautiful people and the weather. It’ll be the same with Espai Barça. You’ll come to the campus to see and experience a different type of club – a club which plays beautiful football and does things in its own unique fashion.

“Instantly you will think ‘ah... this must be Barça. This is what I came here for.”

FC Barcelona is planning three new stadiums as part of the Espai Barça masterplan:

total football totalarchitecture / MANU FERNANDEZ/AP/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES
total football totalarchitecture MANU FERNANDEZ/AP/PRESS ASSOCIATION IMAGES

New Camp Nou

Architects: Nikken Sekkei and Joan Pascual – Ramon Ausio Arquitectes
Cost: €360m
The biggest component of the development is a comprehensive revamp of Francesc Mitjans’ iconic Camp Nou stadium. Capacity will be upgraded to around 105,000, and a new roof will be added.

New Palau Blaugrana

Architects: HOK and TAC Arquitectes
Cost: €90m
The club’s multi-sports arena will be demolished and rebuilt on the site of the current Mini Estadi stadium. The highly flexible complex will feature a 10,000-seat arena, an ice rink and two football pitches for the club’s football academy.

New Mini Estadi

Architects: Battle i Roig
Cost: €12m
The home of Barcelona’s B-Team, women’s team and youth sides is being torn down to make way for the New Palau Blaugrana. It will move from the Les Corts neighbourhood to the club’s training facility in San Joan Despí.

Q & A - Jordi Moix

FC Barcelona director and the commissioner for the Espai Barça project

Jordi Moix
Jordi Moix

What sparked the Espai Barça project?
For a while we had been very clear that our venues have become old. Camp Nou dates from 1957 for example, and the age of the stadium has started to show.

The club had two previous proposals for expansion under different boards, in 1999 and 2007. The first proposed to use the land for a big shopping mall, the second idea was to sell the plot for residential development to fund new facilities. Both would have separated us from the neighbourhood and they were rejected.

In contrast, when we produced the Espai Barça proposal in 2010, we wanted to think of not only the club, but also of the city and the neighbourhood. Since we bought this land 60 years ago, it has been locked to the rest of Barcelona. We want to open this space and liberate it for the city.

How will the district impact the FC Barcelona brand?
We already have almost two million visitors per year on non match-days, even though we’re currently offering very limited possibilities to extend the FC Barcelona experience for them. They visit the stadium museum and we have two very small restaurants. This is what we’ll improve by creating a new destination for the city.

Barcelona is a successful city in terms of tourism, but a large percentage of that is concentrated in the old part of town around the Sagrada Familia. We want to create a diversified destination for the city. Nothing similar is being done on the same scale anywhere in the world, as far as I’m aware.

Many of your rivals are investing money in creating new experiences for their fans. Has this influenced your plans for Espai Barça?
Yes, this was one of the arguments we put forward in the referendum. We must compete with our rivals commercially.

One of the sources of revenue for clubs is offering varied services and experiences. Many clubs make good, regular profits and revenues this way. Our rivals are doing it and we need to do it too. This is how we can continue buying the best players and maintaining our non-profitable branches, such as the basketball club.

How much will the project cost?
The budget is capped at €600m. I say capped because that was the assurance we made to our members when we held the referendum. We will not jeopardise the finances of the club for this investment, because it doesn't make sense to have a great stadium but then have Messi playing for Manchester United, because we have to sell players. On big projects like this, people always have doubts. They think ‘how will the budget be met? Will it cost €600m or €6bn? But it can be done and we are reassuring the socis about this.

How will you finance the project?
We have a year or 18 months until we need to sign a contract with the construction companies, which is the point of no return. We want to exploit sources we are not getting any revenue from now. Mainly, this is the title rights of the stadium and district area. It doesn't have an official name yet, and we think that a venue such as this which is attached to the global brand of FC Barcelona will be very attractive for companies.

"We want to open this space and liberate it for the city"

Visitors to Camp Nou’s skyrings will have a panoramic view of Barcelona
Visitors to Camp Nou’s skyrings will have a panoramic view of Barcelona

Q & A - William T. Mannarelli

Technical manager of the Espai Barça project

Mannarelli and his team have set the architects strict boundaries for their designs
Mannarelli and his team have set the architects strict boundaries for their designs

What is your ambition for Espai Barça?
This whole campus will be an experience. Ultimately, we want this to be a destination, and we want our neighbours in Les Corts to enjoy this public realm.

What was the brief for the architects?
We asked the architects to create a space that will work 365 days a year, and everything we’re doing with them will be an architecturalisation of the club’s values. Johan Cruyff said ‘Total Football’, we want to say ‘Total Architecture.’

Why did you want the design teams to comprise both international and local architecture firms?
We weren’t so arrogant as to think we needed international expertise alone for these projects. Creating architecture authentic to the club’s brand would be impossible without local people involved. The ‘arranged marriages’ of architecture studios was a bit of an experiment, but we feel we’ve got the best of both worlds – international vision with local sensibilities. This is important because while Barça is this global brand, locally it is the church of Catalonia.

You set strict boundaries for the architects from the beginning of the competition process. Why was this?
We didn’t want to fall in love with a building that wasn’t feasible or we couldn’t afford. We had fixed budgets agreed with the socis and we could not jeopardise the legacy of the club to fund this project. We’re in a position where if something becomes more expensive, something else must become less expensive.

The club is very sensitive about these issues. When Camp Nou was first realised in the 1950s, the club suffered financially for 10 years. Some of the older socis remember this time and hope and pray we won’t repeat that mistake. It’s our obligation to learn from that.

What was the role of your technical committee in the competition process?
I had a team of experts looking at costs, constructability, timescales, roof options, seating solutions, business plans and programmes for each design in the competition. We had a set of criteria and we worked with Ernst & Young to give each design a mark based on those. The results were then presented to the jury.

The idea was that when there was a design compatible with all the criteria, the jury could have a unanimous winner. That’s what happened with the Nikken and HOK-led projects.

Why did Nikken Sekkei and Joan Pascual - Ramon Ausio Arquitectes win the Camp Nou contract?
Nikken Sekkei came up with an origami-like landscape around the stadium, and it’s probably one of the quintessential reasons why they won this competition. Their folded buildings are something between an Apple Store and the Louvre – they’re like diamonds. We wanted the realm around Camp Nou to be an attractive place, not just a parking lot with some chairs in it.

The view from the top of the stadium will look out to the sea, to the mountains, to the pitch. It’ll be like a 360 degree Ramblas.

How closely are you working with city officials to ensure the project progresses smoothly?
We were in discussions with city council from the very beginning. They had their technical architect on the jury so they could see the work in progress, the final presentations from the design teams and have a voice in the choice of the winners. This project is for the club, but it’s for the city as well, so we’ll keep working together to make it happen

"If Cruyff said ‘Total Football’, we wanted to say ‘Total Architecture’"

Espai Barça will be “an 
architecturalisation of the club’s values”
Espai Barça will be “an architecturalisation of the club’s values”

Q & A - Tadahiko Murao & Takeyuki Katsuya

Nikken Sekkei

Executive officer Tadahiko Murao (left) and design general manager Takeyuki Katsuya (right)
Executive officer Tadahiko Murao (left) and design general manager Takeyuki Katsuya (right)

How did you approach the challenge of designing the new Camp Nou?
TK: We studied the brief and decided we wanted to make a really spectacular scheme. During our research, we found the city has a very rich history: the sun and the sea, the historical buildings, the beautiful architecture, the strong 19th century city development. This project reflects all that. At the same time, it’s not entirely new architecture. We derived a lot of inspiration from the original stadium because we want to keep its essence and soul while creating something new and great.

We stayed in Barcelona for many days during the design process and enjoyed the climate. That was a big source of inspiration. Most big new stadiums in Europe are in countries with colder climates. Barcelona is different, so we wanted to make the most of that warmth.

How much did you know about the club before you entered the competition?
TM: We knew a lot about the club, but not so much about the stadium. To get to know Camp Nou we stayed nearby in Barcelona and went to some games. We spent three months in the city working on the concept.

K: I love football and La Liga and Barcelona, so I’m so excited about this project. When I go to the first game in the New Camp Nou, I hope Messi plays. But I’ll be so excited about the stadium, I doubt I’ll be able to watch the game!

Why did you want to make the stadium feel democratic, and how will you achieve this?
K: FC Barcelona is a club for the fans, not for the owners. They want equality for the stadium, where the views and experiences of everyone are equal. Our big change is to make the design totally symmetrical to represent this democratic nature. Currently the roof changes height, making it asymmetrical. We’ll change that and create a very simple balanced shape around the pitch. Finally, the new sky rings around the outside create more symmetry.

Why did you choose to add the full roof to the stadium?
M: The roof was a requirement of the club. They wanted a stadium that fits UEFA standards, so they need a type of roof that covers all seats. The original roof is only a part of the stadium, on the main stand and it has a very sharp-edged roof. Our scheme is the opposite – with a membrane and a cable dome structure. We want to create a lightweight impression though the material and structure. We’ve kept some things the same though, so from far away you can see the roof clearly but up close you can’t due to the stadium’s minimal height.

What was your design process for the project once you had the concept?
K: The project was just too big to start with sketches alone. With only drawings we could easily forget about the details. So we started by making 3D models, studies, sketches and physical models together.
We had conference calls and meetings with our partners in Barcelona. It’s a different design culture, so at first it wasn’t easy. But after we discovered the differences in our approaches, we found that we could work together very well and develop a shared vision.

"The fans want equality for the stadium, where
the views and experiences of everyone are equal"

The climate and culture of Catalonia inspired Nikken Sekkei’s Camp Nou design / Photos: nikken sekkei
The climate and culture of Catalonia inspired Nikken Sekkei’s Camp Nou design Photos: nikken sekkei

Q & A - John Rhodes

Director, HOK Sport + Recreation + Entertainment

Rhodes and the HOK team aimed 
to create a highly flexible building
Rhodes and the HOK team aimed to create a highly flexible building

Can you describe the design of the New Palau Blaugrana?
Well there’s a couple of unique approaches to it. Essentially I design exterior, existential architecture and there is a subtlety to creating buildings that people go to for exterior content. That was the starting point for the New Palau Blaugrana. We looked at the exterior and how people will interface with it within a sporting context.

The existing Palau is a very intimate, energetic venue that the fans are very proud of. We needed to take the essence of it and obviously make it bigger but still keep the scale and size of that space as small as we could.

So our approach was to put in a unique bowl where rather than having an upper tier and a lower tier we created a tier that basically expands at one end to create a home end. In some ways basketball in Europe is very different to the NBA in the US; it’s more similar to the atmosphere of a football match. So we’ll create a wall of people at the home end. By removing the upper tiers we can actually move all the structuring much closer. It’s a very intense style.

How will the New Palau Blaugrana respond to the New Camp Nou?
You can imagine you’ve got a 100,000 plus capacity stadium there which has got its own gravity and its own feel. This building is not as big as that venue, but it needs to respect Camp Nou while defining itself, its own character and its own name. So the connectivity with its environment will be key.

Public realm is at the heart of the Espai Barça project. How is it integrated around the new Palau?
We looked at this wonderful Mediterranean climate and considered how to leverage that as an arena experience. We looked at basically creating public realm all around the building, pulling some of the concessions out of the arena and putting them there to reduce down the concourse space. It’s a blurring of the lines.

I think that one of the exciting things about this project is it’ll inspire a lot more public spaces designed to create this inherent flexibility and event capability. The problem with arenas is that they are big buildings that are only used two or three times a week and consequently they are to a certain extent black boxes. Our intention is that the Palau will become a real hive of activity even when there isn’t an event on. That, for me, is incredibly exciting.

"Our intention is that the Palau will become a real hive of activity even when there isn’t an event on"

The new 10,000 stadium will replace the existing 7,500 seat Palau Blaugrana
The new 10,000 stadium will replace the existing 7,500 seat Palau Blaugrana

Q & A - Albert Gill

Partner, Battle i Roig

For FC Barcelona fan Albert Gill, the new Mini Estadi project has been a dream job / Photos: battle i roig
For FC Barcelona fan Albert Gill, the new Mini Estadi project has been a dream job Photos: battle i roig

How did you become involved in the New Mini Estadi project?
The club bought a piece of land that used to be a tennis club, next to San Joan Despí where it has all its training facilities for everyone from the first team to small kids. They decided to build the New Mini Estadi here to free up space in Les Corts, a bit like a big game of Tetris.

We were invited to join a private competition to design the stadium with five other local teams who have experience designing sports facilities and who have worked with the club before. We designed San Joan Despí in the first place, which is why we were asked. We accepted the club’s invitation and we won the competition.

Will the New Mini Estadi have any design similarities with the other Espai Barça projects?
There is no specific dialogue between the sites. What we’ve done is to keep a really strong order with the San Joan Despí campus through the alignment of the pitches and buildings. We’ve developed a very powerful design, and we want to ensure the surroundings match that.

For example, there’s a strong requirement by the council that we develop a parking space that looks like a huge plaza when its not being used. That means other activities can take place there on non match-days.

What are the challenges of designing this stadium?
Well, it has to accomplish UEFA classification. That means that you need a place for cameras, media facilities, a VIP area, and these all have to be at a certain level.

The other challenge is that the site is located partly on a slope, so while the pitch is flat the stands are at different levels. This creates a very asymmetrical stadium. Some architects would develop a solution where there is a soft transition between the higher and lower parts, or some kind of façade that creates the illusion everything is the same height

How did you solve it?
In a quiet but innovative way. There are several belts that wrap around the stadium. The biggest of these runs around the periphery – at one point it is the roof of the lower tier, at another it becomes a railing for the first floor of the grandstand. From the outside, this creates an iconic image. On the inside, we think it is positive because it generates a compact pitch with a very clear framework. In a way, the stadium itself is hugging the players and giving them its support.

How have you conveyed the club’s values in your design?
The design includes lots of messages. FC Barcelona is something that represents many people. It’s not something that one guy who is very rich has bought, it is little pieces of many people. There are some club values – humility, respect, effort, teamwork, ambition – that will be written on the peripheral metal façade.

The roof of the grandstand and the lower tier we’re expecting to cover with names of former B-Team players, like a Hall of Fame. We won’t only feature the players who went on to reach the first team, but also those who didn’t make it. Why? Because it’s not only the best players that make us such a strong team. We put the collective above the individual.

What is the current status of the project?
We’re hoping to start construction by early 2017.

What does it mean to you personally to be working on this project?
I love FC Barcelona. For me it’s a dream to be the architect of this building. It’s something you dream of when you are studying. Well, for me it’s actually happening!

"The fans want equality for the stadium, where the views and experiences of everyone are equal"

The New Mini Estadi is designed with a belt that ‘hugs’ the players to give them support
The New Mini Estadi is designed with a belt that ‘hugs’ the players to give them support
Click on an image to open the image gallery
company profile
Company profile: Myrtha Wellness
Myrtha Pools was founded in 1961 in Italy by the engineer Giorgio Colletto and through research and development has become leader in the swimming pool industry and has created an international brand.
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
OMA’s new Pierre Lassonde Pavilion opened in Quebec on 24 June
David Gianotten is one of nine partners who lead OMA. He was made a partner in 2010
"We are moving towards a business model that goes beyond architecture"

Maybe it’s time for architects to move away from the competition model and start taking control says OMA partner David Gianotten

Hotel EMC2 is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, where no two hotels are the same
"Millennials are pushing us architects to design hotels with distinct personalities"

Sameness is out, authenticity is in when it comes to designing for millennials says Greg Keffer

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
The Namibian fog-basking beetle creates its own fresh water in the desert
Michael Pawlyn
"Herzog and De Meuron’s Bird’s Nest stadium looks awesome, but it’s incredibly resource-intensive and takes none of the ingenious aspects of Birds’ Nests"

From climate change to resource scarcity, Exploration Architecture uses biomimicry to address some of the world’s major challenges. Its founder tells us how

Key members of the New Camp Nou team, left to right: Takeyuki Katsuya, Tadao Kamei and Joan Pascual
"Whatever your allegiances, you have to admit that no football club has a brand quite like FC Barcelona. "

FC Barcelona is taking on its rivals with its ambitious €600m expansion project Kim Megson speaks to the architects involved

The Huntington Beach club is inspired by the local surf culture
Aaron Richter worked for Starwood and Ian Schrager before joining Equinox in 2008
"We’ve been working on the hotel concept for about three years now, and it’s almost ready to reveal."

As high end fitness chain Equinox prepares to enter the hotel market, its VP of design sets out his plans

Andreas Klok Pedersen
"I say no more than yes. You need both sides – people presenting ideas and people not afraid to say if the idea isn’t good."

Discovering new talent and saying no

3XN’s Royal Arena opened in Copenhagen in 2017. It houses a range of cultural and sporting events
Kim Herforth Nielsen founded 3XN in 1986 with Lars Frank Nielsen and Hans Peter Svendler Nielsen
"I always wanted to do more than just designing buildings"

How Danish firm 3XN is harnessing the power of architecture to shape human behaviour

Streetmekka Viborg will feature indoor street football and street basketball pitches
"We were constantly having to invent new solutions to problems, as we were working with old ruins, a low budget and high ambitions"

Across Denmark, a charity is turning industrial buildings into centres for street sport and art. As the concept prepares to go global, we speak to the people making it happen

cladkit product news
Koto Design introduces wood-fired hot tub
Koto is known for crafting modular, energy-neutral cabins and homes
Katie Barnes
A striking wood-fired hot tub has been unveiled by Koto, an architecture and design studio which has a passion for ...
Ojmar introduces battery-free electronic locker to cut carbon footprints in health clubs and spas
Ojmar says the batteryless lock is easy to install and features a user-friendly interface
Megan Whitby
Smart lock manufacturer Ojmar has released the OTS20 Batteryless – the first battery-free electronic locker lock on the market. The ...
Alberto Apostoli and Newform collaborate to launch the A.Zeta showerhead
The showerhead offers two modes; rainfall or waterfall
Megan Whitby
Italian architect Alberto Apostoli has renewed his partnership with Newform – an Italian wellness company – and designed A.Zeta. A.Zeta ...
cladkit product news
Eco Resort Network conference to convene in Mauritius this May
The event will be hosted in the Mauritius in 2024
Megan Whitby
Hospitality industry event Eco Resort Network is set to take place at the Ravenala Attitude Hotel, Turtle Bay, Mauritius, from ...
Mather & Co and ITV unite to create Coronation Street Experience
Mather & Co has transformed the visitor centre into the ultimate haven for ardent Coronation Street viewers
Magali Robathan
Experience designers, Mather & Co, have orchestrated a remarkable collaboration with ITV to unveil the new Coronation Street Experience, a ...
CSI Design Expo Americas 2024 announces new Attractions & Entertainment Technology Zone
The event will allow buyers and suppliers to meet
Magali Robathan
Cruise Ship Interiors (CSI) invites cruise lines, shipyards, design studios, outfitters, and suppliers to take part in CSI Design Expo ...
cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils iridescent decorative panelling range inspired by plants
The Clematis design
Megan Whitby
The Botanicals is Siminetti’s newest Mother of Pearl decorative panelling collection, inspired by the distinctive patterns found in botany and ...
Alberto Apostoli designs tech-forward Wellness Therapy furniture collection for Varaschin
The furniture collection draws on absolute geometries, pure lines, neutral colours and strong references to nature
Megan Whitby
Furniture manufacturer Varaschin has unveiled the new Wellness Therapy range, designed by Italian spa and wellness architect and designer Alberto ...
Codelocks develops new glass door smart lock
The new lock model allows facilities and building managers to create and manage access via an app or online portal
Megan Whitby
Codelocks has launched its first glass door smart lock to bring intelligent access control to modern spa, leisure, fitness and ...
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd