10.6.2014

Beira-Rio Stadium, in Porto Alegre

Hype Studio Architecture was invited by Sport Club Internacional to design a roof for Beira-Rio stadium. Within the first month of work, Hype Studio architects realized that only covering Beira-Rio would not be enough, considering the stadium was almost 40 years old - and the lack of infrastructure and comfort was very clear.

Beira-Rio Stadium has been home for Sport Club Internacional since 1969. Construction began in 1961, reclaiming land on Lake Guaiba to create the site where the stadium would be built. In 1965, with the land reclamation finished, construction of the Stadium itself began. The first match took place on April 6th 1969. Since that day, Beira-Rio has witnessed the greatest moments of the club’s history. In the early days, Beira-Rio hosted over 90,000 spectators, with a record attendance of 115,000 in 1972. Following current standards of safety and comfort, the Stadium’s capacity was reduced over the years to 54,000 people in the early 2000s.

In order to adapt the stadium to new standards of safety, security and comfort for spectators, players, VIPs and press, Hype Studio Architecture has developed a Renovation Project not only for the Stadium itself, but for the surrounding areas as well. The project started in November of 2006.

Hype Studio Architecture was invited by Sport Club Internacional to design a roof for Beira-Rio stadium. Within the first month of work, Hype Studio architects realized that only covering Beira-Rio would not be enough, considering the stadium was almost 40 years old – and the lack of infrastructure and comfort was very clear. We reached the same conclusion regarding the surroundings of Beira-Rio Complex: a big urban void located in a prime area of Porto Alegre – between the city’s Historical Centre and the Southern District, right by Santa Teresa Hills and Lake Guaíba.

On April 2nd 2007 – the day scheduled to present to the Club’s Board the new Roof project – Hype Studio presented not only the Roof design, but a full Stadium Renovation Project. The project called for the demolition and rebuilding of the lower tier (with bigger steps and closer to the playing field), stores and commercial centres on the inside, a new museum, restaurants, an entire level of corporate suites, new VIP areas and new lounge areas, among other items that would make Beira-Rio completely new for the 21st century – renewed, modern, comfortable and safe, turned into a 51,000 all seater Stadium. We also presented an urban Master Plan for the surrounding area, with a garage building, a hotel, commercial buildings, a convention centre and the Renovation of Gigantinho Arena (a 15,000 seats multipurpose arena located by the Stadium). The project was so well received that one month later it was presented to Brazil’s Sports Minister during a ceremony. In August 2007, Hype Studio presented the project to Fifa, accrediting Beira-Rio to be the stadium in Porto Alegre to host the 2014 World Cup. After the confirmation that the project met Fifa’s requirements, architects Fernando Balvedi, Gabriel Garcia and Mauricio Santos, (Hype Studio senior partners and authors of the project), spent the months of September and October making technical visits to European stadiums, with special attention to the German stadiums that hosted the 2006 World Cup one year before in Germany.

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The new roof was designed as a modular structure, made of 65 steel trusses that overhang 42 meters above the stadium bowl. The girders were pre assembled outside the stadium. The roof is covered with a PTFE membrane. The stadium’s location is a key element for sustainability, being in the middle of Porto Alegre’s urban area, with easy access through public transportation or even by walking. The stadium is also going through LEED certification process.The project was developed throghout 2006-2010. Construction started in late 2010 and finished in april 2014. The construction company was Andrade Gutierrez, one of Brazil’s largest engineering firms. Beira-Rio stadium opened again in April 6th 2014, exactly 45 years after its original opening.

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