Herzog & de Meuron reveals latest plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

| 37 comments

Herzog & de Meuron has unveiled its final design for the revamp of Chelsea FC's London stadium, with a brick and steel addition it describes as a "contemporary sculpted form" (+ slideshow).

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

The Swiss firm is working with London architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on the overhaul of the west London football club's 41,837-seat Stamford Bridge stadium. The main aim of the project is to increase spectator capacity to 60,000.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

First images of the proposal emerged during the summer, but the design team has now submitted a planning application to Hammersmith & Fulham council detailing its design.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

The most prominent new feature will be a series of brick piers that extend over the existing stadium form to support a steel ring above the pitch, covering an increased number of seats.

The piers are intended to reference local brick architecture, and also create a covered walkway around the perimeter of the building.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

According to Herzog & de Meuron, the design will "capture the spirit of the local heritage in a contemporary sculpted form that will respond to the local townscape and to neighbours’ views and light".

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

"The structure will have a lightness of expression when viewed directly but also a solidity and textural materiality when seen obliquely," it said.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

Access to nearby Fulham Broadway Station will be improved, making travel easier for spectators, while the arena itself will offer "an outstanding view of the stadium from every seat".



Built in 1876, Stamford Bridge was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch and was initially used as an athletics club before becoming Chelsea's home ground in 1905.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

The football club first revealed plans to redevelop the stadium in June 2014, having previously explored options for new grounds at Earls Court, and on the south side of the River Thames at Battersea Power Station.

Herzog & de Meuron submits plans for Chelsea football stadium redesign

Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands was initially appointed by Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich to explore options that would allow the club to remain at Stamford Bridge, with Herzog & Meuron joining the project later.

The Swiss firm famously designed the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and has also completed football stadiums in Munich, Basel and Bordeaux.

  • Boris

    That stadium is too nice for Championship football.

  • stutelf

    Looks amazing, especially when comparing it to the current stadium that looks like a dodgy 80s shopping mall.

  • Jonathan Tuffin

    Gloomy. Reminiscent of the Berlin Olympic stadium. And can it be expanded?

    • spadestick

      I beg to differ. Full of character. Nobody else pulls it off quite like the duo.

      • Jonathan Tuffin

        Ah yes, the duo.

    • Owen Hopkins

      Why would you expand it? It’s quite some time since a club like Chelsea depended on its stadium as a main source of income. The stadium and the supporters it contains now function primarily as part of the club’s global brand.

      • Jonathan Tuffin

        Not true. Look at the difference gate receipts have had on Arsenal’s revenue.

  • ChrisLondon

    The Roman Colosseum of London. More Roman than Abramovich if we go by Chelsea FC’s current performance, which is less gladiatorial and more lambs to the slaughter. Anyway, love the design! Well done Herzog & de Meuron.

  • Singa

    So was it a collaboration between Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands and Herzog & de Meuron, with the design duo joining on a later stage? Which practice took the lead in design? If it is a collaboration then it is entirely misleading to give credit to only Herzog & de Meuron for the whole design. Please clarify.

    • Bill

      Herzog & de Meuron were the design lead. Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands don’t have this in them.

  • guisforyou

    They should have made Prince Charles happy, or at least found a happy medium between traditional and contemporary.

  • It’s a good concept, but the devil is in the details. Those steel bar cages belong to a 20th century banana republic.

    • Thomas

      Nah… The bars also look good.

      • A barbed wire can look good, too. But still too Big Brother-ish.

  • Daniel

    They are back.

  • Harry Vos

    It looks like somebody stopped a printer halfway through because it ran out of cyan.

  • Harris Jay

    You could slice an egg on that.

  • Vigarano

    Design inspiration can come from anywhere. In this case the choices appear to have been a lobster trap or a roach motel. Spectacular from the air, but don’t fly your drone in there!

  • John Bernhardt

    How much? Here in America we can spend a billion dollars on a run-of-the-mill football stadium that might not get used more than a couple dozen times a year.

  • VasilS

    It makes me want to support Chelsea instead! The design for Tottenham’s new stadium looks like a monster compared to this.

  • Ron Tedbem

    Amazing.

  • dan

    Spurs must be kicking themselves. Not as good as Bordeaux but for the context it’s a very nice proposal.

  • Alan

    Grandiose for sure, though I prefer the elegance of Herzog’s Bordeaux stadium.

  • sultony

    It is a sombre prison-like building that could have come from the Third Reich. Soulless and no expression of fun.

    • Thomas

      Let me guess, you like Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid and their oh-so-craaaazy forms, right?

      • Guest

        Cladding those concrete ‘buttress’ with brick for people like you to get through planning. Stylish.

  • larry

    Redolent of Victorian a workhouse/Russian gulag. Which is, in a way, appropriate. The wailing wall in picture four could be quite handy, though.

  • Chelsea Fan

    Are they going to over-clad the ring beam in brick; surely that won’t work? The roof that sits between the piers looks very clumsy.

  • Delbert Grady

    I want to see more connection details. And no shots from the inside? What’s going on with that canopy span? I like the linear rigid brick over the curving soft centre, but it looks like it only happens in a couple of places. Missed opportunity for that detail? Anyway, I’m just musing. Great concept.

  • Though a die-hard Chelsea supporter, I can truly say this is architecture… no bias! Context is everything!

  • chris

    Looking through the planning documents you see the thoughtful holistic approach Herzog & de Meuron do so well. They really are masters of architecture.

    This stadium will look magnificent.

  • Marcello Pac

    Wow, that’s beautiful. I love it.

  • Royshirttugger

    Those ring beams are a bit of a clunky eyesore. Hopefully they can be designed out. It does remind me of an extra large Victorian workhouse with the brick face. From the air it looks great but from close up this is a fail. A very heavy touch.

  • Sam S

    Herzog & de Meuron are the masters of stadium design. More clubs should be thinking about redesigning their original stadiums within local communities, rather than building huge and soulless examples miles from core fans that lack atmosphere. Herzog & de Meuron and Chelsea seem to have shown it’s possible!

    • benjamincfc

      Couldn’t agree more. There was a great piece about this in The Observer the other week. Football is losing its character. Designs such as this can help to move the game into the 21st Century while paying homage to its heritage and history.

  • ms

    Brilliant!

  • Joe_3

    3 months on and this has grown on me a lot! Would like to see a section.