Inter 9 is crazy about 3D drawing and printing (geeky, we know) but we are also mad for Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and FC Barcelona (Christ, who isn't?). Just as Lionel Messi carved up those multi-millionaire, lead-footed Real Madrid galacticos this year, we’ve sliced up the Camp Nou to invent projects erasing the distinction between city and stadium. We have not redressed Norman Foster's gauche Vegas-style sequined skirt tautology – the 'New Camp Nou'. That his office henchmen wouldn’t share their drawings sums up his approach entirely, which is no kind of reply to a club of this quality.
We critiqued the stadium typology by taking on the club's Les Corts 'campus' and its connection to the city – its citizens also happen to be the owners and they’re currently held at bay, even on game day, by a circumferential 6m-high steel fence surrounded by abandoned training grounds. It's a context we've reinvented.
As ever, our approach wasn't as direct as you might imagine. Starting with hydrographic charts and pilots' maps and then fusing them with other non-architectural drawings we produced a 'composite' drawing and an 'interference drawing' which, when combined, invents a 3D 'drawing/ object' print that is the basis for the scheme. It's a method that lets Max Ernst meet Enric Miralles.
In January we were warmly welcomed by the club, who on top of some plum tickets for FC Barcelona v Malaga and our own exhibition at the stadium, also gave us the heads-up on a masterplan competition which formed the basis of work for the next four months. We designed in fragments, which carried the weight of the whole project, and fabricated parts of them under the expertise of Toni Cumella at his enviable atelier in Granollers. We also reinvested our energy in the immaculate portfolio, against a tide of loose-leaf A3s and plasma screen shots.
It's simple: we design through drawing ('beautiful but worrying' – Carlos Villanueva Brandt) and in the process hopefully avoid killing the hallowed grass – which is all Foster’s stadia seem to do anyway.