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2011-08-22Updated on August, 23rd, 2011, 17:13
The winning project of the International Competition for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park Urban Masterplan, coordinated by the Municipal Olympic Company, in partnership with the Brazil’s Architects Institute (IAB), was unveiled on Friday, August 19. The announcement of global service providers AECOM as the competition winners was made at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, built for the Rio Pan American and Parapan American Games Rio 2007 and which will be part of the Olympic Park.
In addition to the president of the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Carlos Arthur Nuzman, and the Rio de Janeiro Mayor, Eduardo Paes, also present at the event were the Sports minister, Orlando Silva; the chief secretary of Rio de Janeiro State Government’s Executive Office, Regis Fichtner; the Olympic Public Authority (APO) president, Marcio Fortes; the Municipal Olympic Company president, Maria Silvia Bastos Marques; and the IAB president, Sergio Magalhães.
The competition brought together 60 entries from firms in 18 countries. With seven members, the jury consisted of representatives from the Rio City Hall, the International Union of Architects, the Brazil’s Architects Institute, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Federal Government.
The Urban Masterplan outlines how the Olympic Park area will be used, the public spaces, squares and parks as well as the location of the permanent and temporary venues and the future real estate developments to be built at the site. Detailed planning, through the Executive Project, will be carried out over the next months by AECOM in conjunction with the parties involved in the park construction.
Design projects for each one of the venues to be built in the park, either permanent or temporary, will be chosen through subsequent competitions, also to be conducted by the Rio City Hall in partnership with the IAB.
The Brazil’s Architects Institute also announced an agreement with the Rio 2016 Organising Committee to hold another competition to select the design project for the new golf course to be built in the city for the Olympic Games.
AECOM, which was also responsible for the London 2012 Olympic Park Masterplan, will receive a R$ 100,000-prize ($62,000 USD).
Similarly to their work in London, the AECOM project for Rio outlines the park’s Games-time operation and long term usage. In "Olympic Games mode", the design ensures the best conditions for the staging and operation of the sports event. In "Legacy Mode", it ensures the feasibility of new developments in a sustainable manner.
The urban plan also includes the transition from "Olympic Games Mode" to "Legacy Mode"; conservation of the site’s environmental features, with special focus on the lagoon’s ecological restoration; prioritisation of soil permeability; universal accessibility; integration with municipal projects planned for the surroundings; prioritisation of sustainable technological innovations; connection between future spots and non-sports venues through public spaces; fulfillment of the commitments made in the Rio 2016 Bid; and security.
In 2016, the Olympic Park will be the heart of the Games. With an area of 1,180,000 square metres, it will host competitions for 10 Olympic sports (basketball, judo, taekwondo, wrestling, handball, hockey, tennis, cycling, aquatics and gymnastics) and 11 Paralympic sports (wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, boccia, judo, sitting volleyball, goalball, 5-a-side football, 7-a-side football, wheelchair tennis, cycling and swimming. The Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC), where some 20,000 accredited journalists will work during the Games, will also be built at the site.
Over three million tickets will be on sale for the competitions to be held at the park, which is expected to host around 200,000 spectators per day.
After the Games, the sports venues and new developments will form a reference for the city in terms of urban planning and sustainability. The Urban Masterplan frees up at least 60 per cent of the Olympic Park area for future developments. The new permanent sports facilities will be built around the existing ones - the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre, the Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Arena. After the Games, this group of venues will form South America’s first Olympic Training Centre and will become a reference in discovering and developing sporting talent.
According to Carlos Arthur Nuzman, “this was yet another step taken towards building the Rio 2016 Games legacy. The Olympic Park legacy for Brazilian sports will be a training centre modeled after the successful experiences of the world’s greatest sporting powers.”
Eduardo Paes said that the city is “doing very well in the preparation for the Olympic Games, as this contest proves. Our concern is with the legacy that we will leave for the city. The Olympic Park will be a central facility of the Games, focusing on different sports. One of the aims of this competition was to think about how to occupy this area so that it will be possible to attract private funds for works that would be paid with public funds.”
Adam Williams, AECOM’s associate director, revealed he “sought inspiration in the city’s elements. We wanted to bring the experience acquired in London, where it was also important to plan the park’s Games-time operation and long term usage, as well as the transition between these two moments.”
Orlando Silva noted that “the resulting work is marked by innovation. Innovation in the form of a dialogue with the society [through the IAB partnership] and the design itself, which has the dimension of the city of Rio de Janeiro.”
For Regis Fichtner “it is gratifying to see that preparations for the Games are progressing with yet another step taken. The works under the remit of the State Government, such as the metro’s Line 4 construction, are also moving ahead at good pace.”
Marcio Fortes stressed that “a competition like this has great value as it attracts the whole world’s attention. Architects from all over the planet were focused on how to leave an architectural contribution for Rio”.
Maria Silvia Bastos Marques noted that that “the Games are a unique opportunity for the city and that’s what motivates us. This contest puts into debate the construction of facilities that are essential for the competition, but it also gave us the opportunity to think about an important legacy for the city”.
Commenting on the project, Sergio Magalhães said that “the winners paid a tribute to Rio de Janeiro, with a sinuous black and white element in the design that reminds us of the Copacabana sidewalks”.