Did Vasco really use a caravel? Never mind... still, the football club named after him could have a caravel-inspired stadium ready for Vasco's 500th birthday. How real is it?
This concept certainly has the 'wow factor' but we're publishing it fully aware that it might never come to fruition. It was, after all, conceived as part of an electoral battle by Leven Siano, who has now won the vote to become Vasco da Gama's new president. And we all know that election promises rarely end up fully implemented.
Especially that in this case there are two stadium visions on the table: one more ambitious, one more pragmatic. Don't blame us for showing the ambitious one first, it's simply a breath of fresh air.
Can this one make it, become reality? We sure hope so because this master plan was created by Populous would see the legendary Estádio São Januário demolished and replaced by a new football-specific venue, combined with ancillary sporting and commercial uses.
The complex would include an indoor arena for 5,000 people, open-air Olympic swimming pool and a hotel with 150 rooms. Smaller leisure facilities would make the area live daily as a vibrant destination.
The stadium itself would hold 55,000 people, of whom 15,000 would be able to stand throughout the game on a massive northern terrace with a single tier. The opposite, south side of the venue would be largely open and with only one sunken tier of seating. This would allow a smooth connection with the southern plaza and also give a stunning view of the hills, including the Christ the Redeemer statue.
Exterior of the stadium is very directly inspired by Vasco da Gama's caravel. Like a ship's hull, the venue rises towards the north, visually cutting through the urban fabric. It would also be covered by lightweight, translucent panels so as to not be too imposing and ensure proper sunlight access to the public concourse inside.
In this literal metaphor the hotel tower becomes a mast. It would have cables connected to the top, allowing canvas roof segments to rise and protect fans from excessive sun and rain. The permanent and more traditional part of the roof would only cover the uppermost sections of the auditorium.
Part of the plan is to retain all of the monumental facade of the old São Januário, which would welcome guests of the premium, hospitality areas. In order to make the association with Vasco da Gama even stronger, the stadium would be done in time for the 500th anniversary of Vasco's death, on Dec 24. 2024.