Brasilia's Mané Garrincha National Stadium: reinforced with ArcelorMittal steel

Inspired by Oscar Niemeyer's work, Brasilia's Mané Garrincha National Stadium was rebuilt and extended for the 2014 FIFA World Cup according to the plans of Castro Mello architects and GMP. With a capacity of more than 72 000 spectators, it is the second largest sports venue in the country and strives for LEED Platinum. ArcelorMittal rebars reinforce the stadium's concrete structure and the fencing solution Securifor 3D protects the area.

Detailed information

Situated in the Ayrton Senna Sports Complex, Brasilia's new national stadium replaces the old Mané Garrincha Stadium opened in 1974 and demolished in 2010. The new stadium, inaugurated in May 2013, was designed to host not only football games, but also concerts, shows, conferences, and meetings. It offers 74 cabins, 40 bars, two restaurants, 14 diners, and 276 toilets.

As per the FIFA requirements, the stadium is situated close to public transportation and features seating for more than 72 000 spectators, press, and VIP areas in addition to all of the necessary installations of a modern football stadium, including excellent accessibility to all areas.

The stadium's facade consists of 288 concrete columns, arranged in three concentrical circles. The space between the columns, the so called esplanade, covers 617 870 m2 and allows access to all levels of the stands independently and quickly through 19 gates and 158 turnstiles.

The internal circulation is realised by means of 50 ramps, four escalators, 60 normal stairs, and 20 lifts. The evacuation time of the stadium is up to eight minutes.

Design concept

The new multifunctional stadium was created following the architectural traditions of Brasilia, the country's 50-year-old capital city. The interplay between ramps, bridges, long and slender columns, and the monumental circular roof are the stadium's key design characteristics.

The reinforced concrete structure of the stadium's roof comprises the 'esplanade' - the three circles of columns as well as the concrete compression ring of the cable-net roof. The entire structure is a perfect circle based on 96 radial and 3 tangential ring axes of the concrete pillars. The 288 concrete pillars are up to 61 m tall and extremely slender, with diameters of only 1.2 to 1.5 m.

The 22 m wide tapered concrete compression ring has an outer diameter of 309 m. The great tensile forces of the cable structure are anchored in the radial walls by means of strand-bundle cables. The suspended roof consists of a cable-net that features 48 radial cables. These connect the compression ring to the tension ring. On top of this, there are slender radial and tangential steel truss girders that are continuously stabilised by the pin-jointed membrane arches. The entire roof is wrapped in a PTFE fibreglass membrane.

ArcelorMittal steel solutions

For this project, ArcelorMittal Brazil supplied mainly rebar for the reinforced concrete structure, but also meshes, profiles, wires, and flat products. In total, the supply covers 26 000 t of long products and 55 t of the fencing solution Securifor 3D, produced by the Belgo Bekaert Arames joint venture site.

Sustainability aspects

One of the major aims in the design of the new stadium was the improvement of its energy efficiency. Brasilia's National Stadium strives for the highest Green Building certification possible, LEED Platinum, and is intended to be the most energy-efficient sports venue in the world.

The hot and dry climate of Brasilia was a major factor to be taken into account in the sustainable design. Taking advantage of the winds in the area, the stadium's open facade, with the concrete columns, allows for maximum natural ventilation which reduces the heat inside the stadium.

The roof protects the spectators from the strong sun and is self-cleaning, using the photo-catalytic process for the removal of dust. Lighting is entirely realised with LED lamps in order to achieve the planned 20% energy reduction. In order to avoid shading and ensure a homogeneous light field, the stadium is equipped with 465 reflectors, with two thousand watts of power each, that illuminate the lawn.

Water shortage is also an important issue in this region; therefore, the aim is to reduce up to 50% of the venue's drinking water consumption. This is achieved by using technologies that guarantee efficient water use (toilets, faucets,etc.), strategies for the reuse of water, and practically irrigation free vegetation. Rainwater is collected on the roof and stored for use in and around the stadium.

New green spaces were created all around the stadium and local plants used to the dry climate convert the area into a biosphere. Increased vegetation helps to reduce the heat island effect in Brasilia's city centre.

The materials of the demolished old stadium were reused in the new construction, for landfill, or recycled.

Project information

  • Brasilia DF
  • Brazil
  • Architect:
    Castro Mello Architects & GMP Gerkan, Marg & Partner
  • 2010 - 2013
  • Engineering firm:
    Etalp, SBP Schlaich, Bergermann & Partner
    Knut Göppert & Knut Stockhusen (roof)
  • Contractor:
    Consórcio Brasilia 2014
    (Via Engenharia & Andrade Gutierrez)
  • Photographer:
    ©Markus Bredt/SBP & Knut Stockhusen/SBP

Technical details