Plans for underground football museum

FIFA (International Federation of Association Football), football’s world governing body, plans to spend 180 million Swiss francs ($US 196 million) building an underground museum alongside its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said in a statement that “it is high time that world football had a meeting place for its millions of  fans”. He noted that clubs such as Real Madrid and Manchester United had set a benchmark in football museums.

The proposed museum in Zurich will showcase 3D animations, interactive games and trophies.
FIFA said its executive committee had approved spending on the museum project.  The design plans for the museum will need to be agreed to by the Zurich cantonal authorities, who have expressed support  for the project.

In the U K, a European country where football is extremely popular, a  National Football Museum opened in Manchester [northern England] in July 2012.  It replaces the former museum in Preston, Lancashire and is located in the  former  Urbis exhibition centre in Manchester.  The glass wedge-shaped  building, which cost  8 million pounds sterling to refurbish, will show visitors “the greatest collection of football memorabilia ever assembled”.  Fans will be able to see more than 140,000 objects, works of art and photographs.

Geetha Balachandran

Massive regeneration project

The Internet group Google is planning to build a new 1 billion GBP (pounds sterling) UK headquarters on a 2.4-acre site at the King’s Cross Central development, one of London’s biggest regeneration schemes. ‘
Designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and due to be completed in 2016, the one million sq. foot building will range between seven and 11 storeys in height and provide a state-of-the-art, flexible working environment for Google staff.

The building will feature a range of shops and cafes/restaurants.  Google’s employees will relocate from current London offices in the Victoria and Holborn districts.

Construction on the London headquarters building is expected to start in late 2013 after receiving approval from Camden Council. The new building will face two office buildings which are currently being built by KCCLP (King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership),  which includes developer Argent Group.

Argent’s Director David Partridge said, “It is a great privilege to take forward what we believe is London’s largest office requirement in recent years…(We) are very excited by the opportunity to design and build a world-class, sustainable HQ for one of the world’s leading companies.”

Simon Allford, of the architecture firm Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, commented, “Working with Google is a special opportunity to create an innovative new headquarters of scale and significance that both builds on King’s Cross’s rich tradition of heroic construction and contributes to the fulfilment of the development’s visionary masterplan. The proposal for a campus within a building that engages with a new yet historic piece of London is a very exciting one that we look forward to developing further as the project moves through planning and onto site.”

Google has traditionally leased its overseas offices, but in the past two years  has  purchased premises in Paris, Dublin, and now, London.    

Achal Narayanan

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