The home of Chelsea F.C. will receive an upgraded look and a boost in capacity after the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham unanimously approved the revitalization of Stamford Bridge stadium. Swiss practice Herzog & de Meuron will work with London's Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands on the £500 million project, which is expected to finish by 2021.
After approval by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the plans will be put into motion, with an agreement that construction begin within the next three years. The stadium's current capacity of 41,837 will be upped to 60,000 by digging down and decking over the adjacent rail line, while a perimeter colonnade creates additional space for spectators.
The stadium's 264 brick pillars will surround the seating bowl and support a steel ring above the field. The brick design — which matches the area's vernacular architecture — will replace the metal bars and tubes that now embellish the building. Herzog & de Meuron, which designed Beijing's famous "Bird's Nest" stadium, took inspiration from the Gothic details of Westminster Abbey.
Built in 1876 by architect Archibald Leitch and originally used as an athletics club, the turf was turned over to Chelsea in 1905. The football club had previously considered plans for a new stadium at Earls Court or Battersea Power Station, which would have been one of London's biggest adaptive reuse projects.
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