Brazil spent around US$4 billion renovating and constructing its stadiums for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But with the excitement of hosting the globe's biggest sporting event now having passed, one awkward, but important question remains. What to do with all that infrastructure? Drawing inspiration from the social issues plaguing much of the publicity around the event, a pair of French architects have developed a proposal to re-invent the structures as complexes for low-cost housing.
While most of the stadiums constructed for the World Cup will continue to host football matches, Brazil's local teams stand to draw a fraction of the crowds that attended the event, doing little to assuage concerns of wasted resources. Others face a less certain future, such as the Arena da Amazonia. Located in the jungle city of Manaus, the 44,500 seat stadium is perhaps the most contentious of Brazil's white elephants. A local judge proposed converting it into a center for temporary detainees to tackle the city's overflowing prisons, though this was met with fervent opposition from government officials.
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The proposal by Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux is perhaps even more ambitious. Dubbed Casa Futebol, it involves transforming each of the 12 World Cup Stadiums into affordable housing for Brazil's poor and displaced.
"The project covers 12 Brazilian stadiums," Stampa tells Gizmag. "There are actually six stadiums where we can colonize the exterior facade. Five of these have an exterior structure composed of concrete and metal columns separated by seven or eight meters (23 to 26 ft). We just have to insert pre-fabricated housing using the existing structures."
The remaining stadiums would see 105 m2 (1,130 ft2) housing modules fitted to the interior at the expense of rows of seating, the only difference between these and those receiving exterior additions being the installation process.
"The project is based on modular pre-fabricated houses," says Stampa. "So the only thing that changes is the implantation of the houses."
Conscious of Brazil's adoration for the world game, the proposal would see the stadiums altered slightly, but continue to host matches with profits going towards ongoing maintenance and construction of the housing.
"We think that the concept is achievable in all 12 stadiums," says Stampa. "You just have to take up some seating and reduce their capacity a little bit."
The team guesses that if converted, the stadiums could each house between 1,500 and 2,000 people, a total of approximately 20,000 across the entire project.
This bold proposal for Brazil's stadiums forms part of a year-long architecture project called 1 week 1 project, where the pair endeavor to produce spontaneous architecture projects every week for one year. While they don't have current plans to take the Casa Futebol beyond the concept stage, it is hoped that the project can inspire more socially-conscious approaches to problems of this kind.
Source: 1 Week 1 ProjectView gallery - 5 images