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Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge to be Expanded & Re-Designed

Stamford Bridge the home of current Premier League Champions Chelsea Football Club is to undergo a major expansion and redesign.

Plans for the project are well underway and Swiss Architects Herzog & de Meuron have been tasked with drawing up the plans to reinvent the historic ground. Their drawings have been unveiled in a room beneath the East Stand at Stamford Bridge this week and are on display as part of a 3 day consultation exercise where local residents can study the architectural plans.

The designs show a gothic design that draws inspiration from Westminster Abbey in a series of sepia style sketches that aim to link the design to the roots and history of the stadium which once stood in the Westminster district.

The expansion which will see Stamford Bridge go from a capacity of 42,000 to 60,000 looks set to cost Chelsea's Russian Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich more than £500m.

The possibility of moving the stadium from its current location and building something new was considered but a decision to redevelop the existing ground was reached in 2013.

The proposed redesign work includes vast brick pillars and a stack of three tiered stands and vaults, while a rebuilt and widened elevated brick built bridge will connect the stadium to Fulham Road and could help ease traffic. A direct link for fans into the stadium from Fulham Broadway station is also proposed.

In keeping with the commercial nature of modern football an array of bars, shops and eateries will be housed in arches beneath the structure.

 

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The two hotels currently on the site were designed by KSS but will be demolished under the new plans to create more space for the stadiums lower tiers which will likely be below street level, a method that has been used in other famous stadiums such as Real Madrid's Bernabéu.

The scale of the project and construction work involved could mean Chelsea have to temporarily play they home games at another stadium, with both Wembley and Twickenham possibilities.

Architect on the project Jacues Herzog believes that the design will make people feel at home, and taps into the feeling that the club's sense of identity is strongly linked to the stadium in which it plays.

Herzog who himself is a huge football fan says that the new stadium will feel like a medieval castle that will be unique and unlike any other stadium.

It is estimated that planning on the project will take another two years and building work could take three years meaning the new stadium should open in 2020.

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