Arena Pantanal: a sustainable World Cup stadium featuring ArcelorMittal steel

The Arena Pantanal or Arena Governador José Fragelli, the major stadium in Cuiabá, was conceived as a functional, sustainable and also flexible venue for more than 44.000 spectators.  ArcelorMittal steel was used for the roof, the structure of the upper seat rows and the parking area.

Detailed information

The new arena was built on a site next to the old Estádio Governador José Fragelli, which was demolished in 2009. The new stadium, designed by GCP Arquitetos and started in April 2010, is set in a newly developed architectural complex of around 3.000 m2, a project of re-urbanization of unused land, that comprises an extensive plaza, walkways, fountains, green areas, and restaurants. The venue and its surroundings were conceived to host any type of sports, cultural and entertainment events after the World Cup.  

Considered Cuiabá's main work for the FIFA World Cup, the Arena Pantanal was designed based on the recommendations of the FIFA Stadium Requirements and the concepts of functionality and sustainability. Furthermore, accessibility, comfort and safety were the key factors for the interiors of the new stadium.

Arena Pantanal and its installations

The Arena Pantanal offers 44.003 seats, with 735 seats in 108 VIP areas and 66 seats for handicapped people. Parking is provided for a total 2.431 cars, taking into account all the parking possibilities in the stadium's basement and the surrounding areas.

The stadium's new structure was developed taking into consideration the climatic conditions of its location. Therefore, its consists of 4 independent modules with "open corners" in order to allow cross ventilation.

Each module is covered with a roof supported by steel arches, made of a steel truss structure. Under the white water proof and highly resistant roof membrane, the structure consists of trapezoidal, metallic shingles with thermal insulation and alveolar polycarbonate on a total of 26.800m2.

Steel was also used for the construction of the upper bleachers, the tiers of seats, made of a structure of bolted beams and columns.

In order to visually unite the 4 independent modules to one stadium, a steel structure was built around them, clad with a perforated, greenish membrane made of 50% PVC and 50% textile fibre.

Steel was not only used  for the aesthetic possibilities it offers, but also to make the venue more flexible. The upper bleachers with seats for 12.000 spectators can be easily removed after the World Cup, when not needed anymore. The steel roof provides the project with a certain lightness, in contrast to the solid concrete base of the lower tiers and retaining walls.

A number of fountains and artificial lakes around the stadium act as humidifiers for the area, and extensive vegetation, also inside the stadium, provides shade and helps to lower the temperature, avoiding heat island effects. This vegetation consists mainly of local plants used to the climate in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

ArcelorMittal steel

ArcelorMittal provided rebar, annealed wires nails, trellis and chords for the steel structure of the bleachers and the roof, and for the parking areas. In total, the supply included 6.000 tonnes of long products, 1.000 tonnes of flat products and 34 tonnes of ArcelorMittal's new fencing solution Securifor 3D  produced by the Belgo Bekaert Arames joint venture site.

Sustainability aspects

Due to the open spaces between the 4 stands, air can enter through the arcade formed by the steel structure and the venue is ventilated naturally.

Sustainability was also a daily concern at the construction site. Rubble from the demolition of the existing structures, for example, was used for the construction of the access roads. Other demolition waste was reused and recycled.

Other sustainable features include a water treatment facility, a recovering system for rainwater which aims at a reduction of 35% in the stadium's water consumption, solar heating and use of certified timber with controlled origin.

The project meets the requirements of the international certification system LEED.

Project Information

  • Cuiabá
  • Brazil
  • Architect:
    GCP Arquitetos & Grupo Stadia
  • 2010 - 2014
  • Engineering Firm:
    Sinclair Knight Merz (concept)
    Ponto de Apoio (steel structure & roof)
    EGT Engenharia (concrete)
  • Contractor:
    Consórcio Santa Bárbara/Mendes Junior
  • Steel works:
    Entap Engenharia e Construções
  • Photographer:
    © GCP Arquitetos/Nelson Kon
    and Edson Rodrigues, Secopa