Apart from its primary function as a football stadium, the building’s horseshoe design opens the grounds out onto an inner city lake located just outside, which makes it perfect for concerts, parties, and other outdoor events. The opening also provides ample air flow into the stadium, which when combined with the building’s horizontal shading elements, reduces the amount of energy wasted on air conditioning.
The stadium’s roof, which is one of the world’s lightest stadium roofs at just under 100lbs per m2, was designed with the help RFR, a German engineering firm located in Stuttgart. Its spoked wheel system uses a membrane that is pierced by connecting vertical struts, reducing the amount of overall material required. The design also uses precise geometry to ensure the roof is able to withstand wind loads, provide sight lines, solar protection, and water drainage – another key sustainability feature.
Much of the stadium was built with recycled concrete taken from the old Salvador da Bahia stadium, to ensure as little new material as possible was needed in the construction. While not a sustainable feature, the stadium also has a restaurant that takes the shape of a bridge, and provides visitors with a breathtaking view around the grounds. It’s a location that would make the perfect viewing area for any concerts or performances held within the Arena Fonte Nova.
The football stadium has a capacity of more than 50,000 seats, and will play host to six FIFA World Cup matches in 2014. On top of that, it was selected by the International Olympic Committee to become the Olympic Football tournament’s official venue in 2016.
Images by David Campbell, Ulisses Dumas Vaner Casaes, Manu Dias, Erik Salles