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 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 3000 m2 - a project of re-urbanisation 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, or 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 2431 cars, taking into account all the parking possibilities in the stadium's basement and the surrounding areas.

The stadium's new structure was developed based on the climatic conditions of its location. Therefore, its consists of four 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 waterproof 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 tiers of seats, made of a structure of bolted beams and columns.

In order to visually unite the four 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 seating for 12 000 spectators can be easily removed after the World Cup when no longer needed. 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 seating and the roof, and for the parking areas. In total, the supply included 6000 tonnes of long products, 1000 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 four 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% of the stadium's water consumption, solar heating, and the 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