Two architecture graduates offered a very imaginative solution to two of Brazil’s problems. If there are empty stadiums and not enough homes, why not make stadiums home for people?
Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux raised quite a few eyebrows in recent days. These two Ecole d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville graduates came up with an impromptu idea that addresses some of Brazil’s issues.
The World Cup left a legacy of ultra-modern stadiums and increasing social gap. Four of these stadiums are at risk of becoming ‘white elephants’, while the favelas of Rio and Sao Paulo were widely covered by international media to illustrate how the poorest Brazilians don’t benefit from football’s biggest tournament.
And while Brazil has several programs of providing new homes for those seeking one, Axel and Sylvain decided to come up with a much bolder plan: build the homes within new stadiums. Both of them stressed this isn’t an idea against the criticized arenas, their plan envisages all stadiums retaining their primary football role.
Both men would hope, however, that the created infrastructure might cater for more than a few people in the long term. Without major interference with newly built superstructures they propose to place prefab apartment containers within the buildings. Their bright colours and modern design would “colonize” the outside façade, but also invade the stadium’s interior.
According to the attractive renderings, Estadio Nacional itself could hold well over 200 apartments itself. And Brazil’s most expensive stadium is a great example of why possible residential use is a good idea. So far the building hasn’t got a strong tenant to provide full or even half-full stands, while it’s immense in its scale, being the single largest building in Brasilia. With daily residential use it might be more than just a landmark.
It all sounds like a great solution, right? Well, not quite. The idea itself is brilliant and worth showing just for its simplicity and inclusive charm, but reality might kill it effectively. Efficiency of this project would be very low – each prefabricated apartment is designed at 105sqm, three times the size of a regular social/affordable apartment in Brazil.
Meanwhile the logistics of placing cubes and maintaining them is a further challenge. And then meeting all safety regulations on matchdays and non-matchdays with residents inside is one more issue. Altogether the project might prove a very costly addition to another one, already criticised for money-wasting. While the colourful renderings are very catchy and thought-provoking, they seem to be ahead of current needs and capabilities.