the company in charge of reformulating its design is also not continuing

BarcelonaThe Espai Barça project continues to experience earthworks despite the fact that the bulk of the works will not begin until next summer, when the first men’s team will have to go to play at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium, at least , a season The latest change is that the UTE (Temporary Union of Companies) formed by JG Ingenieros and Torrella Ingeniería has been chosen by the Blaugrana club to lead the remodeling of the Camp Nou. This has led to the exit of the project by the offices of b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos and Nikken-Sekkei, which in 2016 won the competition for the design and execution of the sports complex. But, according to ARA, it has also caused the departure of IDOM, the Spanish company that has been in charge of reformulating the project since the arrival of Joan Laporta as president of Barça.

IDOM ended the contract on August 31 and Barça decided not to renew it. The company entered the project management competition with a joint venture for the management of the project, but some voices in the Barcelona organization considered that it was better for another company to do it, with the argument that IDOM it could be that he did not detect his own mistakes in the reformulation of the project. The design is already finished and now it will be the turn of the Barcelona City Council, which will have to give the go-ahead to the changes it has carried out in the remodeling of the Camp Nou. An indicator that the relationship between Barça and IDOM was about to end is that Ramon Ramírez, who led the Espai Barça department from June 2021 to June 2022, was let go this summer. Ramírez is an engineer specialized in the world of railways who had previously worked for 15 years at IDOM. His replacement is Joan Sentelles, a personal friend of the executive president Joan Laporta.

The strong company of the winning joint venture is JG Ingenieros, based in Barcelona and founded in 1970. It has experience in sports venues, such as Civitas Metropolitano (formerly called Wanda Metropolitano), in which, from 2014 to 2017, it was in charge of the installation project and construction management to expand the stadium that had been La Peineta. The other company of the UTE is Torrella Ingeniería, based in Terrassa and focused almost exclusively on the constructions of the industrial sector. This change in the direction of the project led to a certified letter made public on September 6 by the College of Architects of Catalonia (COAC) and signed by its dean, Guim Costa Calsamiglia, in which he was unhappy with the situation .

“We consider that it is necessary to work to promote and encourage good architecture, making the quality criteria protected by the Architecture Law prevail. That is why I would like us to meet to discuss the matter and find points of convergence to guarantee the quality and continuity of the current project”, said the letter, addressed to the Barcelona club. COAC sources have informed ARA that they are currently in talks with Barça. In addition, this newspaper has been able to learn that the letter was produced after the complaint to the COAC by the firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, which until then acted as liaison between the club and the Japanese firm Nikken-Sekkei.

Goldman Sachs will have the final say

The UTE JG Ingenieros-Torrella Ingeniería, however, still has to overcome several obstacles to officially lead the construction management of the remodeling of the Camp Nou. The first step will be for it to be approved by the Blaugrana club’s delegated committee, and the second, for it to be approved by the board of directors at next week’s meeting. However, it still needs to receive approval from a third party: Goldman Sachs. The American investment fund has so far made a bridge loan of 180 million euros for Espai Barça and has managed the loan of 595 million euros that the Barcelona club received in the summer of 2021. Of this 595 million, a part, 125, was already returned when Goldman Sachs allowed Barça this July to sell 25% of the television rights to Sixth Street, which were the guarantee of the loan.

But the big funding from Goldman Sachs has yet to come. Barça wants to obtain from this investment fund the credit that will allow the remodeling of the Camp Nou to be carried out. Negotiations have been going on for many months, but the agreement has not yet been reached. Club sources explain to ARA that this operation, to go well, must be closed before Easter. On those dates, the construction company for the remodeling of the Camp Nou will also be awarded, another decision that will have to have the approval of Goldman Sachs. Right now the companies best positioned to win the competition are FCC, Ferrovial and Acciona.


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