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Everton’s new stadium will draw from the club’s rich history

Architect speaks with Press Association Sport about the design process

Bramley-Moore Dock
Royal Blue Mersey

A day after a mini-furore erupted on the internet following the release of some early sketches which Dan Meis was at pains to describe as just ideas, he spoke with Press Association Sport’s Carl Markham about his thought process as he and his team go about designing the stadium on Bramley-Moore docks.

Key among his observations is that the history of the club and the ground will play a big part in what the new stadium is going to look like. He has been at pains to assure Toffees that the atmosphere will not be sacrificed, even if a running track for the city’s Commonwealth Games bid in 2022 has to be accommodated within the design.

"So much of where we start isn't about architecture - it is about the stories and the history. We have seen a lot of new-builds not really tick that box. So many clubs have suffered from leaving these very intimate, tiny grounds which people had known for generations into large, new and shiny buildings where it is hard to keep that soul and spirit.

"We are fortunate the club really recognised they are the 'People's Club' and while every new building needs the kind of revenue-generation opportunities (of a new stadium) the club is very clear that it is football first.

"Not every client comes to the table with a vision or a real deep understanding so Everton are way ahead of the game in that regard. That influences the architecture. We instantly know we are going to be a very tight (stadium) with steep stands up from the pitch.

"The fan experience will not be sacrificed by trying to leverage in corporate boxes - we will have some, obviously, as every building needs some - but it was very clear from the client's early direction that every fan is important."

When asked if any elements from Goodison Park would be carried on to the Bramley-Moore facility, he stressed that he has always attempted to draw on local inspiration in his previous projects as well.

"We are looking at that opportunity - there are some very real things there we can translate.

"Everyone knows Goodison was challenged as an old building but there is plenty to love about it.

"I knew the history and my staff and I dove in really deep to understand the history."

The Everton fanbase have been very vocal on what they want to see in the stadium, and have made it a point to interact with the architect on social media, especially Twitter.

"The social media with fans is interesting. There is a consistency in a lot of the messaging such as 'Don't forget about Goodison'.

"I also get potentially crazy ideas but over time there are a lot of great nuggets that are consistent and match the club and what they are passionate about.

"With my architecture you will find walls that lean or areas that are floating above the ground so it doesn't feel they are heavily-weighted into the site.

"What is so exciting is I've worked on waterfront projects before and designs which have very spectacular impact on the skyline but I've never worked with something as potentially iconic with the history of the docks and what that means to Liverpool.

"What we are trying to do is design a stadium to feel like it grew out of the docks and will really belong on that skyline and not be some space object which I could drop anywhere."

Mr. Meis clarified once again that the images contained in the presentation to FC Cincinnati that was seen earlier this week was purely conceptual.

"We don't want to put out imagery until we know what we can accomplish. It is very important to us that what we are designing is what we can deliver in real life.

"That architecture is certainly not architecture for Bramley-Moore but there are snippets of ideas, they are just like sketches in my sketch book."

From what we have seen in his previous work and heard from the man himself, Everton’s future is in safe hands with Dan Meis and we await breathlessly to see the first sketches for the Bramley-Moore stadium.