wooarchitects Has Been Shortlisted for the New London Awards 2023
We’re delighted to announce our project has been shortlisted for the New London Awards 2023, run by @nla and supported by the @mayoroflondon.
The #NLAwards2023 recognises the best projects across different sectors in the built environment. It celebrates projects of varying scales across London that are making and will make a positive contribution to their surroundings.
You can contribute to the #NLAwards2023 judging process by voting for us in the People’s Choice Award, an award given to the public’s favourite project.
To Make Major Sporting Events Sustainable, We Need to Reuse Existing Infrastructure and Be Open About Our Mistakes
Environmental and financial imperatives are driving a new approach to stadium design and sporting events, writes Kevin Owens
Australia and New Zealand are pointing the way to a more sustainable model for major sporting events by hosting the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, using a mixture of existing and newly constructed stadiums. But even as Australia showcases this positive news story, the country is struggling elsewhere with the cost and sustainability issues that still too often afflict these global sporting events.
Just last week, the Australian state of Victoria announced that it can no longer support the next Commonwealth Games (CWG) due to spiralling costs. It’s is the second time within the last CWG cycle that a host nation has stepped back from its opportunity to deliver the Games.
Great to be at the first Paris 2024 test event last week in Marseille – an important step in our venue planning and overlay design for next year’s Olympic Games sailing competition!
The first Paris 2024 test event is taking place in Marseille in the south of France from 9 to 16 July. Ten sailing events are being held at Marseille Marina as athletes, organisers, volunteers and locals experience the Olympic atmosphere a little over a year before the next Games.
French flags are floating in the air of Prado Beach, one of the most iconic locations of Marseille. Dozens of containers, here to house sailing equipment, with team colours set next to the Olympic rings are lined up beside sailors heading to Marseille Marina in the summer heat.
The atmosphere of the next Olympics is in the air.
From 9 to 16 July, the first event of the Paris 2024 testing programme is being held in Marseille, the second largest city in France.
The venue is located on the edge of Marseille, 5km from the Vieux-Port, where the Olympic flame will arrive on 8 May from Olympia in Greece. From land you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Frioul archipelago.
It is in this holiday landscape that the Olympic sailing competitions will be hosted from 28 July to 8 August 2024, where 330 athletes will attempt to win medals in one of the 10 events.
This Monday 10 July, races are being hosted for kitesurfing, mixed events and dinghy. A lack of morning wind delays the competition start and athletes along with their personnel are waiting in the shade, as competitors discuss wind orientation.
All of them are waiting for an indication they can begin, which eventually arrives at around 1pm. A wind of around 10 marine knots (19km/h) allows the show to start.
Camille Lecointre: “You have to be polyvalent”
The city of Marseille is surrounded by the mountains of the Marseilleveyre range, the Frioul archipelago and high-rise buildings. Above the landscape, the warm climate is also playing a role in the conditions of the wind, which are constantly evolving.
“The venue is diverse in terms of wind directions. You have to be polyvalent and adept in several weather conditions,” explains Camille Lecointre , a double Olympic bronze medalist in women’s dinghy.
“The topography makes the sailing super interesting,” adds Hannah Snellgrove from Great Britain, who sails in the women’s one-person dinghy.
From the viewpoint of the sea, the scenery is that of a postcard.
The whole of Marseille harbour and its iconic monuments and sites can be seen: Notre-Dame de la Garde Basilica, Velodrome Stadium, Calanques National Park and more.
“It’s a magnificent venue,” says Jeremie Mion , the partner of Camille Lecointre in the mixed dinghy and Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympian. “We can see all the islands, mountains and Calanques…”
wooarchitects Completes Phase 1 of the Skyline at Birmingham’s Iconic Edgbaston Stadium
Opening for the 2023 Ashes series, London-based wooarchitects have completed Phase 1 of the £3.6m hospitality upgrade of Birmingham’s Edgbaston Skyline terrace. The transformative Skyline development forms part of the wider Edgbaston Vision Masterplan commission being developed by wooarchitects with the Club, further investing in the facilities at Edgbaston to create more multi-purpose, inclusive and versatile spaces.
The 630 m² rooftop of the Edgbaston stadium embraces the high-end hospitality and banqueting aspirations of the Club, providing a private bar, reception areas, live music and DJ, plus superior seating in a partially-covered, contemporary outdoor roof-top setting.
The spaces comprise a soft and warm palette of natural, sustainably-sourced materials such as timber, providing a welcoming and comfortable user experience. Products were selected for longevity, durability and minimal environmental impact, reusing the existing structure and other elements where possible. Living green walls give texture to the facades, while increasing biodiversity and providing a direct connection with nature.
Located on the fourth storey of the building, the refurbished spaces offer an exceptional vantage point to enjoy some of cricket’s most iconic fixtures in 2023, including the Women’s and Men’s Ashes Test, the Men’s T20 against New Zealand, and Vitality Blast Finals Day.
Kevin Owens, founder of wooarchitects said,
“Our work on the Skyline Terrace provides a first opportunity to experience our developing vision for the future of Edgbaston. Unlocking the potential and maximising the opportunity provided this incredible location has been rewarding for all involved. The creation of a new cricketing and hospitality experience that embraces the international reputation and history of this world famous ground to be celebrated for years to come.”
“The development is part of our wider Masterplan to further invest in our facilities at Edgbaston and create more multi-purpose, versatile spaces. The Skyline does that by giving us the opportunity to continue expanding our conference and events capabilities to host more summer parties and outdoor events.”
100-year Anniversary of the Opening of Wembley Stadium
Our team has been working hard behind the scenes to create cutting-edge facilities that will provide a world-class experience for players and staff alike. We are particularly proud of our work on the new dressing rooms, which are designed to meet the highest standards of comfort, functionality, and sustainability.
Our design team took inspiration from the rich history of Wembley Stadium, while also incorporating the latest in architectural and technological innovations. The result is a stunning space that reflects the prestige of the venue and provides everything that players need to perform at their best.
We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of Wembley Stadium on this milestone anniversary, and we look forward to working with the The Football Association to continue to shape the future of football in the UK and beyond.
Celia Richardson Talk at the NLA About BC Earth Experience
New TV and film studio facilities are being designed across the UK to support the ever-growing British film industry. This evening talk will present a series of large-scale projects designed specifically for film and TV production.
The UK’s TV production and film industry has had a post-covid boom, with an ever-increasing demand for TV and film content. BFI’s official statistic of £5.64 billion spent in film and high-end TV production in 2021 puts this industry into focus when looking at the UK’s overall economic growth over the past three years. As new TV and film studio facilities are appearing across the country, how can these masterplans be used for positive regeneration, encouraging job opportunities and skills? What are the biggest challenges when it comes to designing complex, multifunctional and technical campuses and what is the role of placemaking within these?
This evening talk will present the latest TV and film studio projects across the UK, showcasing how these schemes can champion local talent, create job opportunities and improve local economy.
wooarchitects Appointed to Redevelop Spotify Camp Nou Stadium
London based wooarchitects have been appointed by Limak Construction for the redevelopment of the home of FC Barcelona, the Spotify Camp Nou.
Chosen for their technical expertise in sports architecture and stadium redevelopment, wooarchitects will be working in conjunction with Spanish company Ghesa, Australian engineer Robert Bird Group and crowd movement specialist, Movement Strategies. They will form Limak Construction’s design and delivery team in transforming Europe’s largest and most iconic sporting venue.
Kevin Owens, founder of wooarchitects, said: “It’s a privilege to be working on such a landmark project. Our work will provide a legacy for a new age of sporting achievement, and visually transform the stadium to respond to the needs and aspirations of 21st century audiences.”
All images credit: wooarchitects.
wooarchitects’ three-year engagement will start in March 2023, in time for 2026 completion. The revamp of the Camp Nou forms part of Barcelona’s wider Espai Barça project, which also includes the delivery of a new Palau Blaugrana arena and the wide-ranging Campus Barça development.
We at wooarchitects Have Delivered a 3,500m Sq Contemporary Exhibition Building to House the BBC Earth Experience.
We at wooarchitects have delivered a 3,500m sq contemporary exhibition building to house the BBC Earth Experience, which opened on 30th March 2023 in Earl’s Court London.
Designed in conjunction with ES Global Ltd for Mooneye Productions and Live Nation Entertainment , the immersive exhibition allows visitors to encounter original BBC Earth footage at scale. It uses state-of-the-art digital screen technology, accompanied by bespoke narration from Sir David Attenborough.
Built within the space of six months, the demountable nature of the building encapsulates the ethos of the BBC Earth Experience.
Materials used to create the space will be reused and recycled at the end of the exhibition, and reassembled into a building for another purpose.
While the structure is fully transformable, it has a feeling of permanence and presence needed to welcome visitors for the duration of two years to the Earl’s Court area.
Located on a meanwhile-use site, on part of the Earls Court Development Corporation land, wooarchitects has designed a solution which reflects the messages portrayed within the experience.
The approach to the building is planted with native species which will also be repurposed at the end of the exhibition. Clad with timber, the facade and canopy have been architecturally fashioned to act as a place-marking billboard and wayfinding for the experience.
Project Architect Celia Richardson : “There’s a responsibility to all architects to consider the value of what they’re designing when compared to the long-term health of our planet. This irony, and the pressure, wasn’t lost on us. Designing a fully demountable building gave us licence to explore materials that both house highest grade technology, but also to think creatively about its end-of-life.”
London’s wooarchitects to Work on Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium Revamp
wooarchitects has been appointed by construction firm Limak Construction to work on the £790 million redevelopment of Barcelona FC’s Spotify Camp Nou stadium
The revamp forms part of Barcelona’s wider Espai Barça project, worth a total £1.3 billion, which also includes the delivery of a new Palau Blaugrana arena and the wide-ranging Campus Barça development.
The 20-strong wooarchitects will work alongside three other companies as part of Limak’s design and delivery team: Spanish company Ghesa, Australian engineer Robert Bird Group and crowd movement specialist Movement Strategies.
The King’s Cross-based architectural practice has a wide experience of working on sports architecture and stadium redevelopment projects. The firm was set up in 2014 by the team which led the design of the London 2012 Olympics on behalf of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.
Reflecting on the Camp Nou appointment, wooarchitects founder Kevin Owens said it was ‘a privilege to be working on such a landmark project’.
He added: ‘Our work will provide a legacy for a new age of sporting achievement and visually transform the stadium to respond to the needs and aspirations of 21st century audiences.’
wooarchitects’ three-year contract started last month. The project is scheduled to complete in 2026.
Limak Construction was appointed to the scheme in January 2023. Barcelona FC vice-president Elena Fort said that Limak’s bid ‘technically guarantees we will stick to our deadlines and guarantees that it can be financed in these markets’.
She added: ‘We want Spotify Camp Nou to be built in the shortest possible time at the best price; two things that this company can do.’
Meanwhile, in February 2023, Barcelona FC appointed Japanese architecture studio Nikken Sekkei to continue its involvement in the wider Espai Barça project as ‘design guardian’ for the new stadium.
Nikken Sekkei, in conjunction with Pascual y Ausió Arquitectes, were the winners of the competition to design the new Spotify Camp Nou in 2016. The firm will now work to guarantee the continuity of the initial concept and consider ways of integrating new proposals seamlessly into the project.
On completion, the project will expand Camp Nou’s capacity from 98,000 to 105,000.
The first tier structure of the stadium will not change but the underground corridors will be removed and access improved. A new third tier is proposed to improve accessibility and comfort, along with a double VIP ring between the second and third tiers.
A new roof will incorporate elements to boost sustainability, such as a geothermal system and a district heating and cooling system. It will be covered with 30,000m² of solar panels to generate photovoltaic energy. One of the priorities of the new project is sustainability, with the aim to provide more spaces for electric cars and more solutions for sustainable mobility.
Plans to overhaul the stadium have been in the pipeline since 2007 when Foster + Partners, the architect behind Wembley Stadium, revealed its competition-winning scheme for the Catalan club. This would have added an upper tier underneath a new cable-net roof structure.
However the project, which had originally been scheduled to complete in 2011, stalled due to the financial crisis and the club decided to look at a number of other options, including building a new stadium.
In 2014, it was revealed that Barcelona FC had scrapped any possibility of building a new ground and had reverted to redeveloping its existing, iconic home – though Foster + Partners was not asked to work on that scheme.
Eurovision 2023: Works Starts on Building Song Contest Stage
Work has begun to transform the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool for the Eurovision Song Contest.
Technicians and stage crew have four weeks to get the venue ready for the big night with the first semi-final looming on 9 May.
A small army clad in high-viz vests have made it a hive of activity as the mammoth set building task begins.
Millions of television viewers are set to watch the contest on 13 May.
Preparations for the contest have been amazing, the organisers say
The set creation work incorporates the main stage, a small stage in the middle of the auditorium and a green room where acts will prepare for their big moment and view the voting.
“We are building something that is for a contest so it has to work practically as we have to get 37 delegations on and off the set,” said James O’Brien, who is the BBC executive in charge of production at the site.
Months of preparation have taken place with a team drawn from those who have worked on Strictly Come Dancing, the MTV awards, The Brits, and The Baftas.
“Progress has been absolutely amazing so far,” added Mr O’Brien.
Faye Dyer, managing director of the arena and conference centre, also said: “We have been open 15 years so we have a lot of experience of hosting complex large scale global events but this is the largest we have done to date.”
The UK is staging the contest on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine.