Architects Propose Converting World Cup Stadiums Into Affordable Housing

Architects Propose Converting World Cup Stadiums Into Affordable Housing

Architects are suggesting that Brazil recycle its facilities as badly needed residential space.

Janet Burns
  • 17 july 2014

With the World Cup settled and its new stadiums emptied of fans, Brazil faces the question of how to best use these structures. According to a duo of French architects, turning the buildings into much-needed housing is a good answer.

Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux of 1week1project have suggested that many of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums might be converted into low-cost housing. The transformation would require the insertion of prefabricated units of approximately 105 square meters (1,130 square feet) between existing, load-bearing pillars. According to their Casa Futebol proposal, it would contribute a significant amount of living space to host cities while still allowing use of the stadium as an athletic and event space, the proceeds of which could support maintenance.

Arena de Dunas

While the plan may not be feasible as is, the idea is relevant; passionate protests concerning poor public services as well as the estimated $14 billion cost of the World Cup have rocked Brazil, drawing international attention to the increasing needs of its citizens.

Yet Brazil is only one of many places with the burden of trying to re-purpose large-scale facilities while off-setting an enormous tab. Russian officials are currently addressing the leftovers of the Sochi games, and claim to be experiencing success in transforming sports arenas into community resource. As photographers Jon Pack and Garv Hustwit explore in their project The Olympic City, cities such as Sarajevo, Atlanta, and Montreal have been forced to abandon structures ranging from statues to whole stadiums, leaving them to ruin.

Bosnia After the Olympics

Other cities have triumphed, however, in adapting large-scale architecture to their contemporary needs. Over the centuries, the city of Lucca, Italy absorbed the ancient Roman amphitheater at its center, filled it with commerce, and renamed it the Piazza San Michele. Similarly, Rome’s classical Theater of Marcellus currently houses (admittedly wealthy) residents in what were its upper rows of seating. More recently, architect Richard Rogers transformed Barcelona’s Las Arenas bullfighting arena into a high-end shopping center.

Brazil’s choices for handling its surplus of sports facilities are many, and, with any luck, its offers for good guidance will be, too.

Images: 1week1project, Amel Eric




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