The architect behind Everton’s new stadium at Bramley Moore Dock has told NSNO in an exclusive interview that he wanted to utilise the history of Goodison Park to ensure his new creation stood the test of time.
We met up with Meis at the second phase of the public consultation which aims to ensure as many people as possible have their say on the proposals so that, when planning permission is sought, opinion can be made available to the council.
Goodison Park became Everton’s home almost 130 years ago and although stands have been added to and improved, the base design has remained the same, and the principal of getting fans as close to the pitch has always been at it’s heart.
Meis, who was in town for the unveiling of his plans, said that looking back at what had made sure Goodison Park stood the test of time, and remained a wonderful place to watch football, was what inspired him when he looked at making sure future generations would love watching football at Bramley Moore Dock.
There has, he agreed, been a lot of talk about the history that has inspired him, but we wanted to know what he had in mind when he looked into the future to when our grandchildren were taking their own children to watch Everton at Bramley Moore.
When asked about his thought process around future-proofing the stadium, he told NSNO, “I don’t think anyone has asked me this before.
“Traditionally in stadium architecture the thought process is to future proof a building, you have to put as much real estate into it as you can because you don’t know.
“You know, that kind of club could be more interesting in another time and, demographics change.
“Younger people consume sports on their electronic devices, they’re not used to it.
“Typically that’s one of the reasons we’ve seen these bigger buildings with all kinds of other things going on.
“Here, it’s almost a different approach. I believe that future proofing for Bramley Moore is looking back at Goodison.
“The reason Goodison has been a great place to watch Everton for 130 years is because it’s an incredible place and I think that will survive anything.
“In some ways I think we’re going to be a bit counter-intuitive about that, and if you make it a great place to see an event, then that will endure.
“This is about a great experience at a football match.”
The stadium at Bramley Moore features four unique stands – like at Goodison Park – rather than a bowl which looks the same as any other bowl-like stadium in the world, and Meis explained his reasoning behind that move.
He added, “The idea of doing something different with each stand is a bit of a nod to the historic way that stadiums grew up.
“Typically they weren’t all built at once – there was a stand, and then another stand was added and stadiums evolved and grew.
“The idea about the big home end; obviously there are some great examples like Dortmund, and it’s really about having the opportunity for the rabid fans to really have an impact on the game.
“There are a number of examples around the world and Goodison has always had a real home-pitch advantage and we wanted to give the fans the chance to recreate that.”
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