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Stadium experts bring pioneering innovation and expertise to three Brazilian FIFA World Cup stadiums


Award-winning global stadium experts and international structural engineering firm, schlaich bergermann und partner (sbp), has engineered state-of-the-art lightweight roofs for three 2014 FIFA World Cup host stadiums in Brazil: Estádio Jornalista Mario Filho in Rio de Janiero, known as the Estádio do Maracanã and considered Brazil’s “Holy Temple of Football”; the Mané Garrincha Estádio Nacional in Brasília; and the new Arena da Amazônia in Manaus.


The Maracanã and the Estádio Nacional are Brazil’s two largest stadiums, respectively. To date, including these projects, sbp has engineered 14 world-class FIFA Cup stadia.


Since 2008, the team has worked with officials in Brazil to advise on upgrades and refurbishments to the Rio and Brasilia stadiums, as well as designing new, lightweight roofs for these venues. The firm also served as advisors to FIFA, organisers of the World Cup, for stadium standards nationwide.


The firm provided roof design, structural engineering and site supervision for the Estádio do Maracanã, Estádio Nacional, and Arena da Amazônia stadiums. Of the three, the Estádio do Maracanã and Estádio Nacional are existing stadiums and international icons and the Arena da Amazônia is a newly-built stadium for Brazil 2014.


One of sbp’s lightweight roof design approaches is based on the principle of a horizontally oriented spoked wheel. The circular roof structure is comprised of high-strength cables connecting inner “tension rings” at the centre of the circle to an outer rim, or “compression ring”. The cable “spokes”, which are allocated at the inner edge of the roof, are tightened between the outer compression ring and the tension rings, creating a lightweight, almost floating roof. This revolutionary, lightweight design approach uses less steel than in conventional stadium roof structures. Additionally, these types of roofs can be erected relatively quickly; in many cases, they can be erected in between seasons.


Michael Stein, Managing Director of sbp in New York, commented:

The legendary Estádio do Maracanã along with the Estádio Nacional and Arena da Amazônia each posed unique design challenges for our team. Through three different designs developed from our lightweight structural approach we were able to address each of these challenges successfully. We are delighted to continue our legacy of engineering stadia that will host the FIFA World Cup and to bring a 21st-century approach to designing roofs for these seminal Brazilian stadiums.


schlaich bergermann und partner Estadio Maracana_1771