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Estadio Nacional de Brasilia

GMP Architekten

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Estadio Nacional de Brasilia

Project Status



  • Marcus Bredt


World Cup 2014

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Project Description


Designed and planned by Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer and constructed within three years in a heroic tour de force, Brasília is the only new 20th-century city to be declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. As a built manifesto of a car-centered, functionally separated city, it is with its monumental and sculptural public buildings one of the icons of modernism.
In this context and with preparations for the football World Cup in 2014 in mind, gmp is working with Castro Mello Arquitetos of Sao Paulo and schlaich bergermann & partner of Stuttgart on the design of Brasília’s new National Stadium.
The existing Mané Garrincha Stadium was completed in 1974 to a design by Ícaro Castro Mello. His son Eduardo Castro Mello is now providing the building with a new lower tier and completing the existing upper tier fragment. Gmp architects and schlaich bergermann & partner are developing the surrounding esplanade with its characteristic “forest of supports” and double-layer suspended roof.
A critical factor in evolving the design was a thorough study of Brasília’s architectural and
urban-planning environment and scale.
The aim of the design is to provide a solution appropriate to its importance in terms of architectural history, with clear references to the traditions of the site, while at the same time coming up with a distinctive, contemporary configuration.
As the largest and most public building in the city, lying directly on the central axis of the basic urban-planning figure of Brasília, the composition was developed as a monumental structure that fits appropriately and coherently into the urban-planning context.
This involves surrounding the bowl of the stadium with a circular esplanade containing all access elements, with the roof resting on the “forest of supports”. This clear and simple gesture is reinforced by the strongly minimalist, almost archetypal design of the individual structural members. The key material is concrete, wholly in keeping with Brasília’s architectural culture.
The roof itself is conceived as a suspended roof with the ideal circular geometry, a double-layer structure held in place by a concrete compression ring. In this, the upper layer consists of sundry translucent covering elements, while the lower layer takes the form of a backlit membrane.
An optional movable inner roof means the 70,000-capacity stadium can be used in all weathers. A host of ecological measures have been developed, ranging from the integration of photovoltaic modules in the roof glazing to the collection of rainwater, reinforcing Brazil’s claim to be staging the first sustainable football World Cup.

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