National Equestrian Center
Rio de Janeiro
- BCMF Arquitetos
- Vila Militar de Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro
- 20-100 Stories
Rio Pan 2007- Deodoro Sports Complex
As set out by the Brazilian Olympic Committee (COB), the planned facilities for the Rio 2007 Pan American Games and for the 2016 Olympics were grouped into four separate areas of the city – Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Maracanã and Deodoro – which will be linked by an efficient public transport system. This strategy was intended to spread the direct and indirect benefits of both Games among all the inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro, through the construction of new facilities and infrastructure, as well as through improvements to the existing network. While the Copacabana cluster will consist mainly of temporary structures, the existing venues in the Maracanã and Deodoro clusters will be updated and the Barra da Tijuca cluster will house the vast majority of newly designed venues for 2016.
‘I would like to be an architect in Rio de Janeiro. When you make a mistake, I imagine, Nature
Immediately comes to your aid.’ (Álvaro Siza)
Brazil is full of shocking dualities, absurd contrasts, surprising paradoxes and incomprehensible ambiguities. This is definitely part of its charm, but eventually the urban landscape can become a wild mixture and a hopeless mess. We try to acknowledge and deal with this condition of extreme diversity without being too literal or rigid about it, without necessarily celebrating it (exaggerating it) or going against it (fixing it). We are very interested in the merging of transitional spaces, between inside and outside, private and public, and also in the leftover spaces, or unplanned areas, with unpredicted functions. In general, recognizing the virtues and constraints of nature – accommodating the demands of constructive conditions to the uniqueness of the site – has always been an important feature of Brazilian architecture. It was no different in the historic Colonial Baroque cities, in the Empire’s adaptation of the neo-classical style or in the modern architecture of Lúcio Costa and his contemporaries. This sensibility to place reinforces architecture as an infrastructure that complements and participates in the landscape, trying to order and redefine it. But very often, luckily, architecture ends up being swallowed or rescued by the country’s overwhelming nature.
In 2005 we won a public tender organized by the Federal Government to design the Deodoro cluster (in the northern suburb of Rio), and in 2008 we were commissioned by the Rio Olympic Committee (COB) to develop the concept design of most of the Rio 2016 candidature venues. In general we have tried to emphasize the exuberant landscape of Rio de Janeiro, which can be breathtaking even in suburban areas such as Deodoro. Rio has been developing and growing irregularly around a mixture of mountains, forests, beaches, lakes and swamps, and we could say that nature still predominates over architecture in the overall configuration of the city. But besides its notorious and celebrated natural beauty – and the unique and sometimes radical interaction between construction and the natural environment – the city (which was the capital of the country from 1763 to 1960) also has a long tradition of public open spaces and outdoor activities.
Therefore, instead of an excessively iconic approach towards the architecture (in Rio the cityscape itself is the dominant icon), we have given priority to the integration of the new facilities and landscape within the extremely complex and diverse urban and natural conditions of the city, somehow inspired by the mythical examples of the modernist architecture of Rio de Janeiro (especially from the heroic period of the 1950s and 60s), which have always been a reference for us. The various buildings for different purposes are all characterized by strong geometric rigor and the use of few construction elements to create a formal bond between the blocks and a unity of idiom for the entire cluster, contrasting with the luxurious landscape as a backdrop.
DEODORO SPORTS COMPLEX
The Deodoro Sports Complex, constructed for the Rio 2007 Pan-American Games, was designed with an awareness that a similar competition venue and program would be applied to a future Olympic Games (Rio 2016). The cluster includes the shooting, equestrian, archery, hockey and modern pentathlon facilities, and also permanent training areas for all major national, regional and international competitions. All venues already meet international standards, and will need just minor adjustments and complements for the Olympics.
The Deodoro region has the highest demographic of youth within the greater metropolitan region, and it is one of the poorest zones of the city. Until recently this area lacked the infrastructure and facilities to support the basic needs of the population, for instance. The development of facilities for the 2007 Pan American Games has encouraged the less privileged youth of this suburban region to actively participate in sport and to engage on social activities. The addition of some specifically targeted facilities, most notably the X-Park Precinct planned for 2016, will provide even stronger social and sport development legacy and opportunities for the community.
The cluster is already an important legacy, which has successfully triggered the renewal and further development of this important vector of the city. The project deals with the complex issues of a unique suburban context comprising a military district, a densely populated favela, a dilapidated industrial area, as well as a large expanse of native vegetation. With its new attractions and improvements, the Deodoro Sports Complex will be consolidated by 2016 as a formidable world-class legacy of high-performance sports, forming a cluster with great potential for catalyzing a general revitalization of a significant area of the city.
The National Equestrian Center is located in the Deodoro cluster in close proximity to the Modern Pentathlon venue, on the south portion of the Vila Militar neighborhood. The venue will be expanded for the games and fully integrated into the Deodoro facilities of the Olympic Training Center, providing an important base for equestrian in Brazil. It will also continue to be used for major competitions including the 2011 CisM world Military games.
Besides being a much larger than the other venues in the cluster, with almost 900.000m2, the Equestrian Center has some other very diverse conditions. The area is bounded on the west by a settlement of slums, characteristic of the informal occupations existing in the suburban neighborhood. To the east and north, the neatly organized military facilities (institutions and housing) continue to dominate the landscape, while to the south the hilly topography and dense vegetation are the main backdrop. Within the limits of the area there are still some “enclaves” that have been kept outside the secured perimeter of this world-class oasis: a graveyard, a broadcast center, a residential condominium and a battalion.
Architects: BCMF Arquitetos / Bruno Campos (Architect in Charge), Marcelo Fontes and Silvio Todeschi
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Project Team: Cláudio Parreiras Reis, Luciana Maciel, Lisiane Melo, Leonardo Fávero, Cristiano Monte-Mór, Ana Kawakami, Fabiana Fortes e Antônio Valadares
Program: Shooting, Equestrian, Hockey, Archery and Modern Pentathlon venues
Project management and General Coordination: Engesolo Engenharia Ltda
Structure: Helio Chumbinho (Misa Engenharia)/ Lino Nunes de Castro (Globsteel)
MEP: ENIT (Moshe Gruberger)
Sports Consultant: Aqualar (Swimming Pool), Forbex (Grass Hockey) and Eduardo Castro Mello
Overlay: John Baker (EKS) & CO-Rio 2007 Team (Gustavo Nascimento, Ana Paula Loreto & Izabela Hasek)
Lighting: Godoy Associados
Contractor: Construções e Comércio Camargo Corrêa (CCCC)
Photographs: Bruno Carvalho, Kaká Ramalho, Leonardo Finotti, Bruno Campos, Marcelo Fontes, Silvio Todeschi