Stadium architect Dan Meis has revealed how the “passionate” input of Evertonians is helping him build a clear picture of what the Club’s supporters want from a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.
California-based Meis, whose team have also created a stadium concept for Serie A giants AS Roma, has made numerous trips to the city since being handed the responsibility of designing the Blues’ new home, and says the excitement and positivity he has encountered has left him in no doubt as to the magnitude of a project he described as “career-defining”.
Evertonians are being encouraged to have their say on what they want to see from the proposed new stadium by taking part in a 51-question survey that will help shape the development of the project going forward.
The survey, which is available to those with an Everton customer number until 5pm on Friday
(23 February), is based on 11 ‘Key Principles’ outlined by the Club last month
and can be filled in here
“I think one of the most unique things about it, about the Club, is the notion of the The People’s Club,” said Meis, who is also set to host consultation events with supporters who register and take part in the questionnaire as part of the next phase of planning.
“I’ve been to Liverpool a number of times throughout the project and had the opportunity to meet Evertonians face-to-face. It would be easy for people to be sceptical or critical but everyone is excited and everyone has really been supportive in bringing true passion and ideas to it.
“That’s what makes this unique - it’s not just a building for a football club, it’s a home for every one of those people and for generations of their families to come.”
Urging Evertonians to submit their survey ahead of Friday’s deadline, Everton Chief Executive Officer Robert Elstone reiterated last week that creating a “fortress” where supporters remain close to the action is “principle number one” of the initial brief submitted to Meis.
And, in the American, Elstone believes Everton have found the ideal person to bring all the feedback together and realise the finalised vision.
“For the tender, he was up against several major, well-known architects,” Elstone explained. “He came through a rigorous selection process because of the passion he had for the project – and the homework he’d done on the Club, and on the city. He won it hands down because we thought, ‘here’s a guy who is going to make something really special’.
“I think he wants to do something that’s different, that’s progressive – that looks forward and doesn’t look back. We also clearly need to consider the location from the heritage and aesthetic point of view, and Dan is particularly enthused about that.
“He’s also been to Goodison loads of times and he’s so keen to take with us that intimacy, that closeness, and I’m convinced he’ll deliver on that.”
Meis, whose previous projects include the Manchester Arena and a number of pre-eminent US sports stadiums, confirmed his wish to retain “the magic of Goodison” while creating a modernistic, atmospheric home the envy of the Premier League.
What’s more, he says the spectacular waterfront location - combined with the feedback from Evertonians - can make the stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock “a model for football the world over.”
“You look at Goodison Park and there are memories in that building that you can’t replace,” he said. “I think the thing we think about most every day is to not lose that - the magic of Goodison… that history and the magic of the experience that people remember over years is something we want to bring to any new building.
“We’ve seen a lot of new buildings become very large, bloated and modern - yes; exciting - yes; spectacular - yes; but losing the intimacy and power of the experience of sitting as close to the pitch and as on top of the players as you can get. That has been the vision for the ultimate building.
“We have this incredible site on the river and the opportunity to do something that’s architecturally iconic and bring those two things together.
“I think we have the opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done in any of the new buildings in the Premier League, and that’s a really incredible opportunity.”
For more information on the ‘Key Principles’ and to take part in the survey
, click here