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Ready, Record, Rio

Symbolic World Cup Structure Rio de Janeiro / Collaboration with Sara Lum







Every four years, the world suspends (increasingly more difficult) ethical and moral judgement to watch the World Cup. The FIFA World Cup is the pinnacle of international futebol, symbolically representing the condensation of cultural diversity, national pride, and the values of sport. Technology has changed how spectators engage with the World Cup—the first World Cup in 1930 was radio broadcast to thousands of listeners; the 2014 FIFA World Cup will reach millions via radio, television, and internet streaming—but the game has remained fundamentally the same.




The location for this project, Rio de Janeiro’s Lapa Neighborhood, is a unique concentration of cultural and geographic diversity; the relationship between the elongated waterfront and mountainous geography of Rio create a spectacle of varied perspectives. In between these two conditions, dense pockets of the city are punctuated by occasional open spaces in the form of public plazas, squares, parks and gardens. In addition to formal futebol matches played in stadiums around the world, the plazas, beaches and squares in Rio as well as elsewhere serve daily as informal spaces for the public to play the sport, representing the democratic spirit of futebol the World Cup. The competition site is where these ideas merge in order to establish local and global experiences for fans in Rio and around the world.






Formal Futebol


Public Space + Informal Futebol

Field as Structure
Defining the site edge by establishing a permeable field condition creates more diverse spaces than could be accomplished by a singular structure. The field is a series of strategically placed vertical devices, curved and straight, that serve multiple functions such as recording, projecting and lighting the surrounding context, as well as collecting solar energy. The placement, height, and form of the devices establish various spatial conditions reminiscent of symbolic public space types. The formal program is in one building structure embedded within the field of devices; each specific program type–cafe, information area, souvenir shop, screen, facilities, administration and plant–relates to the surrounding devices and the existing aqueduct structure.









Symbolic Devices: Record, Project, Illuminate

The symbolic devices record, project, and illuminate the surrounding context; as well as collect energy. Recording equipment is located at three different heights on the symbolic devices; they provide a sense of security, but mostly establish another way for a spectator to experience the World Cup. The curved devices are considered “local,” recording and projecting video on the site from World Cup activities around Rio de Janeiro and the Arcos da Lapa site. The straight devices are “global,” projecting images of activities surrounding the World Cup from around the world. World Cup spectators can access the recordings projected through the Arcos da Lapa site from an online portal. The devices have a lighting component that illuminate for night visibility and change color to create different atmospheres. In addition, there is a line of water devices that extend beyond the water collection tank as a water features used to cool off and as play areas for children.


The main projection screen opens up to the plaza space; it is adjacent to the cafe and can be viewed from the interior or the exterior. This screen is meant to be the main area for viewing the 2014 FIFA World Cup matches. Other projection happens on the site and surrounding context, such as on the aqueduct, from the symbolic devices. These projections offer an alternative experience for the World Cup spectator that alters the perception of the space on the site.






Sustainable Lifecycle
Sustainable qualities are addressed through a lifecycle of the structure. The three main material components—devices, fabric, and projection—are either temporary or ephemeral. The recording and projection on the Arcos da Lapa site may end at the end of the World Cup, but the recordings become part of an online video archive accessible to fans around the world. “Local” symbolic devices will be transplanted to locations in Rio that need light, security, or solar energy collection. “Global” devices will be distributed to public spaces around the world providing similar functional purposes, in addition to projection. As a result, select recordings are projected into the public spaces; spectators can relive memories from previous World Cups or view live feed of games and events leading up to the next World Cup. Last, reuse of the fabric material creates projection areas around Rio and the scaffolding is taken apart and used for future construction sites in the city.





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