Architectural Project: Architect Fernando Balvedi, Architect Gabriel Garcia, Architect Mauricio Santos
In November of 2006 Hype Studio Architecture was invited by Sport Club Internacional Works Commision to create and present a roofing project for Beira-Rio stadium – an old dream of the club’s Directive Board. After working for 5 months on the project, Hype Studio architects concluded that only covering Beira-Rio would not be enough, considering the stadium was almost 40 years old and was quite lagged comparing with modern stadiums – infrastructure, comfort and security-wise. The same conclusion took place regarding the surroundings of Beira-Rio Complex, considered by Hype Studio as a big urban void situated at a privileged area in Porto Alegre: between the Historical City Centre and the South Zone, between Santa Teresa Hills and Guaíba Lake.
On the 2nd of april of 2007, date scheduled to present to the Club’s Board the roofing project, Hype Studio presented Inter not only the roof that is being built today, but also a General Stadium Modernization Project, that intended the demolition and rebuilding of the lower stands (bigger and closer to the field), stores and commercial centres on the inside of the stadium, a new museum, restaurants, an entire ring of suites between the inferior and the superior stands, VIP areas and new lounge areas, among other items that would make Beira-Rio completely new for the 21st century – renewed, modern, comfortable and safe. It was also presented an urban Master Plan to the region, projecting a garage building, hotel, commercial buildings, convention centre and the transformation of Gigantinho Gymnasium in a multipurpose concert arena. The project was so well received that, on the next month, it was presented to the Sports Minister during a ceremony at the Beira-Rio Events Centre.
In august 2007, Hype Studio presented the project to Fifa, accrediting Beira-Rio to be the stadium in Porto Alegre to host the 2014 World Cup. After the confirmation by CBF that the renewal project met Fifa’s requirements, the architects Fernando Balvedi, Gabriel Garcia and Mauricio Santos, project authors, spent the months of September and October making technical visits to European stadiums, with special attention to the German stadiums that hosted 2006 World Cup, that took place the year before in Germany. In November the stadium project was fully adjusted and refined, meeting the requirements of Fifa’s specifications with specific S. C. Internacional needs. Finally, on the 17th of December of 2007, the project was filed for building permit in Porto Alegre’s City Hall.
During the first semester of 2008, the project continued being developed by Hype Studio Architecture. On that year’s second semester, Santini e Rocha and Simon Engineering were hired by S. C. Internacional to continue with the executive project’s development together with Hype Studio. Along the year of 2009, already with the confirmation of Porto Alegre as one of the host cities of the 2014 World Cup, the plan of how the stadium would work on the month of the event began to be developed under Fifa’s Organizer Local Committee supervision. In july of 2010, S. C. Internacional started the work with its own resources. In early 2011 the club decided no longer self-finance the works, searching for a big contractor company’s partnership to continue the works at Beira-Rio. The contractor Andrade Gutierrez SA presented as a partner and, after a contract negotiation period, took over the resuming of the works in the beginning of 2012. The projected conclusion of the works is December 2013.
The refurbishment works that have changed how the ground looks, started twenty-four months ago and involved as many as 1,700 workers when construction reached its peak. The total investment was of R$ 330 million, with R$ 275.1 million being provided as financing by the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES). Beira-Rio is the eighth World Cup stadium to be delivered and the second in the south region.
“The stadium is at a very privileged location. It’s on the banks of the Guaíba River, which is a great place to watch the sunset. We’re right beside a park. Three kilometres away from the main hotels. The airport is nearby. And two big roads go around the stadium, providing good accessibility”, explains Internacional’s technology manager Carla Ritter.
The project kept the stadium's main structure, modernising the stands and facilities for the public in general. This includes the VIP areas, the replacement of the electrical wiring and hydraulic pipes, adding to the stadium’s information system, replacing the pitch, in addition to the roof, which uses a metal structure and membrane. In addition, a garage building was built.
The new aspects at the new Beira-Rio that stand out the most are the façade and the foil shaped roof. The façade is made out of galvalume steel in red, white and silver. The project respected the design of the structure already at the stadium, reinforcing its vertical lines.
The structure of the access ramps to the upper stands was kept in concrete, with the aim of bringing out the tilted pillar and beams. The access to the mixed zone was also made to stand out more, where the stretch of façade is coated with a ‘glass skin’.
The roof is made up by 65 foil shaped modules, covering all places in the stadium, including the ramps and access ways to the gates. The roof is made from a heat reducing membrane. In the main modules, the membrane is semi see-through and completely see-through between the foils, which allows for light to get into the stadium. In addition, the roof is self-cleaning, using the minimum amount of water possible, as well as reducing heat absorption. There is also a secondary aesthetic outlining effect of the foil structure, which really brings out the building’s design.
Comfort and safety
With technology integrated to all sectors, the new Beira-Rio promises a different experience for its punters. “We have numbered seats. No-one stands up, nobody stands in the hallways, everyone has somewhere to sit. The stadium is divided. The public can move around freely. If a person is sitting on one side and wants to grab something to eat which is being sold on the other side, they can stroll through the hallways, which are wide. Everything is aimed at providing as much comfort as possible", explains Carla Ritter.
The distance between steps on the stands went from 60cm in some sectors, to 90cm, which provides more leg room. The seats are retractable, which also makes moving around easier. The seats use the colour red SL –C2014/D VM 764 – especially developed for the club, as it refers to red used in internacional's main jersey.
In addition, fans will be able to see the pitch better, as the stands are now closer to it: minimum distance from the stands until the corner spot is of 9.7 metres. A reduction of 15 metres in distance.
Fans will have 17 access ways available to them, two built specially for wheelchair users. With more access gates and a more modern set-up, a packed out Beira-Rio may be emptied in just eight minutes. The project anticipates the building of 14 circulation towers that will provide access from levels 1 to 6, as well as comfort and speedy moving around for punters.
In all, the new Beira-Rio will have 81 lavatories, 31 female, 31 male, eight for children and four put aside for people with special needs. In addition, there are two lavatories integrated to the dressing rooms and for servicing the shops, as well as four aimed at the press and one for the control booths.
With a new foiled shaped roof and a remodelled façade in the colours of Internacional Sport Club, the Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre has been modernised and is ready for the test events required for the 2014 World Cup. The first match at the new stadium was a fixture of the Rio Grande do Sul State Championship: the venue’s capacity was limited to 10 thousand fans and Internacional returned home in style, thumping Caxias 4-0. Left-back Fabrício scored the first goal at the new arena in the 21st minute. The match also served as a test event for the World Cup.
The club’s goal is to put the venue in operation little by little, until it reaches full capacity – 50 thousand people -. Some finishing work is still being done in some sectors and the surrounding area of the ground is also undergoing construction work to make the access of fans easier.
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