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Casa Futebol concept brings public housing to Brazil's vacant World Cup stadiums
Thousands of Brazilians lost their homes when the World Cup stadiums were constructed. 1Week1Project's Casa Futebol concept invites them back.
Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 02:19 PM
What if a World Cup stadium could be repurposed to house people? (Renderings: 1Week1Project)
For obvious reasons, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is one global sporting event that Brazil, a country in mourning, would rather forget.
However, erasing the memory of being annihilated in an absolutely brutal semifinals match against Germany and then losing to the Netherlands in a consolation game is a bit more difficult when you’re the host country and have, controversially, spent billions of dollars erecting or renovating a dozen different stadiums
across the country. Many Brazilians would probably be fine with burning the structures to the ground and forgetting the whole thing ever happened.
However, Brazil is stuck with these colossal monuments to an excruciating loss and the fate of some of these (very expensive) painful reminders — most will likely continue on as sporting and entertainment venues — remains largely undecided. One could be turned into a massive prison
“Spontaneous architecture” specialists Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux of 1Week1Project
have come up with an idea that addresses the repurposing of a handful of World Cup stadiums at risk of being mothballed or demolished because they’re too expensive to maintain. And while it’s an idea that’s decidedly too-nutty-to-work, it’s certainly not without good, society-improving intentions.
Called Casa Futebol
, the duo’s starry-eyed scheme involves transforming Brazil’s World Cup stadiums into affordable housing complexes. While the pitches themselves would remain intact and open for soccer-related usage, the façades and some upper-level seating sections of the stadiums would be filled with eye-popping prefabricated housing units precariously stacked in unused spaces between concrete columns like tiny candies lined up in a Pez dispenser. "It is not a question of denying the interest of Brazilians [in] soccer, [but one] of proposing an alternative in the deficit of housing," the designers clarify.
Each of the stacked modular housing units would ring in at 1,130-square-feet apiece — a size that’s unnecessary large considering that the Brazilian government’s “Minha Casa Minha Vida
” offers affordable public housing units starting at 377 square feet. And I suppose you'd really
have to be a soccer fan to live in a Casa Futebol stadium.
Within the host country, the housing shortage is estimated to be at 5.2 million homes, according to the Institute of Applied Economic Research. By analyzing the current structures of the athletic venues, the architects envision the possibility for alternative modes of housing that counteract the deficit to be placed within their spaces. The existing architecture requires mass amounts of light for its activities along with a common repetition of construction components that evenly divide spaces. These typological characteristics allow the disbursement of modules throughout the perimeter, where residents can have sunlit views to the interior and exterior. Meanwhile, soccer games will continue to be played and watched by people from the city, where a portion of the profits can be used to finance the maintenance of the residences. The prefabricated 105m² homes utilize wasted vertical spaces by wrapping the façades with color to contrast the faded hues of decay that would decorate the stadiums if they were to not be used to their full potential.
While very much a hypothetical concept and not a proposal being seriously considered by the Brazilian government, Casa Futebol has managed to stir up a range of reactions — some find it brilliant, while others find it misguided and half-baked. If anything, this stadium-to-housing scheme does spark a conversation about the societal costs of hosting such a massive one-off sporting event, which, I suspect, was Macaux and de Stampa's ultimate goal. And while Brazil's World Cup stadiums may not be a perfect match for reuse as public housing estates, Casa Futebol raises a valid question: moving forward, should all Olympic or World Cup venues be designed and built so that, after the games are done and the crowds have left town, they can be modified to easily accommodate much-needed housing or other uses?
What do you think?
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