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During the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, it will host the stars of handball and goalball and be packed with screaming fans. When the Games are over, it will be full of children studying. Thanks to an innovative technique called ‘nomadic architecture’, Olympic Hall 4 will leave a lasting legacy to Rio de Janeiro, in the shape of four public schools.
The venue was originally planned, when Rio was preparing its Olympic bid, as a permanent structure. After the Games, it was to form part of the Olympic Training Centre (OTC) – Rio 2016’s main sporting legacy – along with Olympic Halls 1,2 and 3. However, further analysis revealed that three halls met the OTC demand, so in order to avoid constructing a venue that would not be fully utilised after the Games, a creative solution was found.
From the beginning of its design, the 12,000-seat arena in the Barra Olympic Park has been developed with a view to its legacy. When the sports mega-event is over, Olympic Hall 4 will be dismantled and its components will be reused in the construction of four schools, each with a 500-student capacity.
Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman said: “Converting the Rio 2016 handball arena into four schools after the Games is an excellent example of Rio’s commitment to ensuring the 2016 Games leave tangible benefits for the local community. The nomadic architecture concept defined by our government partners is a first for the Games and we are proud that 2,000 Brazilian schoolchildren will benefit from it for many years to come.”
Today (14 November 2013), Rio’s city government launched the official ‘request for proposals’ (RFP), inviting companies to bid for the project. The winning bidder will be responsible for the construction, operation and dismantling of the venue and the assembling of the schools in 2017. Three of the new schools will be in the Barra area, close to the Olympic Park. The fourth will be in the São Cristóvão neighbourhood, close to the Maracanã Stadium.
Maria Silvia Bastos Marques, President of the Municipal Olympic Company (EOM), which manages the city government’s Olympic projects, also praised the sustainable solution.
“With the aim of not leaving permanent buildings underused after the Games, City Hall and the Sports Ministry decided that the handball arena would be a temporary venue,” she said. “This is the first time that this concept of nomadic architecture will be used in the Olympics, ensuring that even a temporary venue can provide a tangible legacy for the city.”
Construction works on Olympic Hall 4 are scheduled to start in the first half of 2014, and should be completed in the second half of 2015.