UK-based design studio Weston Williamson recently won an international competition to design the Brasilia Athletics Stadium, a 70,000-seat venue linked with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The circular structure is modeled on the wings of a bird in flight, with an external layer of feather-like structures that react to changes in weather and lighting. Capable of moving themselves independently, these feathers bring the entire building to life during ceremonial occasions and pivotal moments throughout the games.
Beyond the pulsating exterior, the stadium will rest on an elevated wooden plinth surrounded by pools of water and trees, allowing the building to moderate its interior temperature using passive cooling. Perforations in the plinth itself will allow light to penetrate shaded areas below. Combined with a waterside pavilion shaped like a crescent moon, the area beneath will provide a perfect place to escape the heat of the day during the Games.
Weston Williamson wanted this design to reflect a utopian spirit, ensuring the stadium had no fixed identity so that it could constantly adapt itself to the surrounding environment. This feature allows it to serve as an icon of adaptability, much like the people of Brazil, who are able to cope in a country that is continually redefined.
The competition to design the stadium was organized in connection with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, intended to be free from constraints and push the boundaries of what is possible with design. Apart from being responsible for a building that will hopefully become an icon for the Olympic Games, Weston Williamson also received a $12,000 prize.
Images by Weston Williamson