Images emerge of Herzog & de Meuron's Chelsea football stadium transformation
The first images of Herzog & de Meuron's proposed revamp of Chelsea FC's London stadium have emerged as part of a three-day public consultation.
The Swiss firm led by Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron is working with London architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on the overhaul of the football club's 41,837-seat Stamford Bridge stadium in west London, aiming to increase spectator capacity to 60,000.
The plans include the addition of four new stands, according to reports. But rather than modern steel structures – like Herzog & de Meuron's recently completed Bordeaux stadium – the designs reference gothic architecture, with brick buttresses, ribs and pillars.
The intention is to reference Westminster Abbey cathedral, which is believed to have once been part of the same district as the 14th-century bridge that the stadium takes its name from.
A new bridge is also included in the proposals to pay tribute to the ground's history, which will bring supporters to the stadium from the adjacent Fulham Road.
The football club first revealed plans to redevelop its existing 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.
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.
Masterplanner Aecom, structural engineer Schlaich Bergermann & Partner and transport consultant WSP have now all been brought on board, suggesting that Abramovich is serious about staying at the club's existing grounds.
Built in 1876, Stamford Bridge was designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch and was initially used as an athletics club. It has undergone several renovations since then.
Herzog & de Meuron, which famously designed the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, has also completed football stadiums in Munich and Basel. The firm was also involved in the now-axed plans for a new Portsmouth FC stadium.