O Mais Querido Brazil - The Most Beloved of Brazil
Since the early stages of stadium design, landscape architecture has frequently been overlooked, with the space surrounding these structures relegated to providing parking and accessways. In other words, rather than give consideration to creating aesthetically appealing spaces, the tendency has instead been to create sterile and unappealing concrete jungles, that pay little or no attention to how the users might experience the space as they move through it. This effectively means that potentially attractive public spaces are not being utilised, which is increasingly problematic as urban areas become ever more densely populated.
This issue will be considered by proposing a series of ideas that could be used in the development of a new stadium for the Brazilian football club Flamengo. This club, which is one of the biggest and most popular in South America, currently has its home at the
Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. As a result of the privatisation of the previously publicly-owned stadium, Flamengo has decided that it would prefer to develop a new stadium on an entirely new site in Rio.
The fundamental aim of this research thesis is to demonstrate how landscape architecture can be used to inform the development of stadiums in such a way that the sites surroundings stadiums can become attractive and functional spaces in their own right, that will appeal to a diverse demographic. In other words, rather than being no more than a carpark and accessway, attractive only to those attending an event at the stadium, the surrounding site should be a place that people would wish to visit for itself. To achieve this, the design must take into account a number of key factors, including where the stadium is situated with respect to the surrounding urban landscape, as well as how the stadium relates to the people who will be the primary users. The intention is to create a space surrounding the stadium that is wholly integrated, both physically and socially, with both the adjacent community and the club’s supporters who will travel there to make use of the many resources on offer at the stadium. Issues that are particular to this site, such as how best to turn a previously industrial site into one that is attractive and ecologically viable are also addressed as part of this thesis.
This design-led research will show how landscape architecture can administer key elements to stadium design, through connection to the urban fabric and fan experience. Exploiting these elements with evidence through the use of adaptive, flexible and also fixed design strategies of sustainability, resilient and regenerative landscape solutions will be achieved between the existing urban setting and Flamengo’s new home.