25 Jul 2016
Thanks to the concept of nomadic infrastructure, schoolchildren in Rio and Olympic athletes will be sharing the same roof. In a new twist on the legacy of Olympic venues, Rio 2016’s Arena of the Future will be dismantled after the Games and rebuilt as four state-run schools in the host city.
The 12,000-seat venue, which will host Olympic handball and Paralympic goalball, has been designed with its future use in mind and once it has served athletes, it will become classrooms for 2,000 pupils.
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,” said Carlos Nuzman, president of the Rio 2016 Committee. “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.”
The Arena of the Future was built using precast stairs and ramps that will be used in the new schools. The roof structure was also designed to include steel beams and standard sized tiles to be reused, and the panels and façades were built to standard specifications to allow them to be repurposed. And the materials used mean the schools will also be accessible. Three of them will be built in the neighbourhoods of Jacarepagua and Barra, close to the Olympic Park, with another in São Cristóvão, near the Maracanã stadium.
"Here we introduced a new concept for the Olympics, which is nomadic architecture,” said Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro. “In general, these temporary arenas are destroyed after the Games, but we have already done the project and all the steel material and concrete will serve to build four public schools. This was an intelligent way to use that space so that it does not become a white elephant afterwards.”And the arena is not the only nomadic venue. The Aquatic Stadium will also be taken down and transformed into two water sports centres. Both will feature Olympic-sized swimming pools, one with a capacity for spectators of 6,000 and the other for 3,000. The venue, which will host swimming and water polo, won plaudits for its sustainability credentials, which include a natural ventilation system.
The Municipal Olympic Company (EOM) said the Olympics would not only leave concrete legacies but would also address some of the challenges faced by the city. Joaquim Monteiro, president of the EOM said, “these are the Games of transformation that will transform the city and leave a legacy, such as mobility.” He continued: “We're not preparing Rio for the Games, we are transforming the city of Rio.”