Samba Structure

The aim of this International Competition was to design a free standing World Cup Structure in Praça Cardeal Câmara in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1. Amphitheater

The aqueduct forms a perfect stage or screen to look at. It is reminiscent of an old amphitheatrical “skene”. What’s missing is a seating or standing area, a “theatron”.

The football games (or in the future e.g. open-air-cinema) will be displayed onto a screen which is mounted on the aqueduct. The World Cup will mostly being watched during the evening, so the aqueducts’ western location is perfect to avoid glare.

2. Permeable

The circular promenade of columns encloses the site while remaining open. This makes the structure easy to approach from the many different entranceways to the site. It effectuates a welcoming yet embracing gesture while also permitting a cooling breeze to flow through the structure.

3. Diversity, Respect and Collaboration.

The column is a metaphor for a team-player and all together the columns form a team. The variety and mixture of colours resemble the different countries and cultures participating in the World Cup. This symbolises important themes as Respect, Collaboration and Diversity.

4. Samba and Carnival

Next to this, the colours and rhythm of the columns can be envisaged as “frozen” Samba. The organic form of the columns resemble Niemeyer’s “poema da curva”. The columns are illuminated by ground lights which emphasises the organic form and colours.

The columns will be made of a fly-ash based geo-polymer concrete and will be hollow to minimise material use.  On top of the columns will be solar panels which will provide the power for the illumination.

5. Program

The enclosed areas, like the cafe and souvenir shop, are made of foldable and perforated steel which also allows a cooling breeze to go through. More private functions as the lavatories have smaller perforations to omit view while remaining permeable for a cooling breeze. The more translucent cladding of the public functions automatically attracts the people, making large signs avoidable.

6. Multi-purpose

The square is multifunctional and is meant also to be used after the World Cup. The structure can be used as market , open-air cinema, flea market, theatre, sports games etc. When there is nothing to show, the concave square can be filled with water, giving the square a nice scenery atmosphere. It forms metaphysical connection with the aqueduct.