DEBATE; Is the New Wembley Design Rubbish? ; the Plans for the New National Stadium Were Unveiled Last Week - to an Immediate Storm of Criticism

The Independent (London, England), November 21, 1999 | Go to article overview
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DEBATE; Is the New Wembley Design Rubbish? ; the Plans for the New National Stadium Were Unveiled Last Week - to an Immediate Storm of Criticism


YES

NIGEL COATES

Architect

I find the design a little confused. The arch is too visually separate from the roof structure. It's a bit of a cliche, replacing the Twin Towers with something that just comes across as brand iconography, just too McDonald's. But the design actually works better than it looks. It's been designed for football and if you put in a permanent athletics track the spectators would be too far away from the pitch, so it would be far better to build a separate athletics stadium. The old Wembley is pitiful, but this design doesn't really excite me at all. There are many fantastic new stadiums around - take the new one in Paris, for example - but this has no distinct identity. It all smacks of the current Norman Foster vocabulary - all hatched from the same batch of eggs.

NO

JONATHAN MURPHY

Football fan

It looks good. It's modern but different from other stadiums. I like the arch, too, it's a novel idea. We desperately need a new stadium - the current Wembley is a pit. My only concern is whether the seating is steep enough to keep you close to the action. The existing stadium is too shallow, which can kill the atmosphere if you are sitting up high. If the seating has been designed properly then I'll definitely be a fan. However, the new design may be good for football, but it's really a compromise where athletics is concerned. It's absurd that they haven't even included enough seats to qualify for an Olympic bid. Assuming they can get these few problems sorted out, then the revamped Wembley should be a great show piece for British sport.

YES

LEE NORTH

Wembley resident

I think it looks stupid. I liked the other one better, especially the flags - it would have been nice to incorporate them. I'm also concerned about the atmosphere - the current Wembley is quite intimidating and it would be a shame to lose that. The whole point of a national stadium is having a special atmosphere. The developers have done a brilliant job at Cardiff Arms Park, but Hampden Park in Glasgow has lost its vibe since it was refurbished.

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