Inauguration of Salvador’s FIFA 2014 World Cup Arena planned for 7 April 2013
In 2008, the federal state of Bahia (Brazil) asked in an international design competition for proposals to reinvigorate the partially collapsed inner city stadium of Salvador da Bahia. The 1st prize in this competition was awarded to SCHULITZ Architekten, located in Germany, in collaboration with Setepla, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Now, after 4 years of planning and construction the new ARENA FONTE NOVA will officially open on April 7 2013 staging the football match between local rivals Bahia and Vitoria. The new football stadium has a capacity of more than 50,000 seats and costs about €230m. In the summer of 2013, three matches of the Confed Cup will take place in the arena. The arena will stage six FIFA World Cup matches in 2014. Also, the International Olympic Committee has chosen the ARENA FONTE NOVA to carry out the Olympic Football tournament in 2016.
In keeping with the tradition of Brazilian stadiums, the arena's footprint has the shape of a horseshoe with a large opening in the southern part of the stands. The opening establishes a direct relation to the adjacent inner city lake and, simultaneously, provides optimal airflow in the stadium bowl itself. The unique form also permits use of the stadium for other events all year around. In the space of the opening, it is possible to arrange stages for concerts and theatre events without conflicting with the pitch and the football matches during the football season. A bridge-like restaurant floats above the opening giving visitors a unique experience with views over the pitch and the lake at the same time.
The roof structure’s optimised geometry and the intelligent aligning of its parts (the skin and the tension-bearing cable rings) is the key to fulfill the roof’s multiple functional requirements (sight lines, solar protection, drainage and wind loads). A novelty of the stadium's roof design is the membrane that is located between the upper and lower tension rings and is pierced by the connecting vertical struts. The design as a spoked wheel system minimizes the use of material in an unseen manner: the weight of the roof structure is only 45 kg / 2m, making it one of the world’s lightest stadium roofs ever.
SCHULITZ's design for the new stadium ARENA FONTE NOVA in Salvador is applying for LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental design) according to the recommendation of the FIFA. Among other things, the use of rainwater reduces water consumption, the former stadium’s concrete was recycled and used as building material, the stadium’s energy consumption was minimized, the construction process was organized in a sustainable manner and the material’s primary energy consumption was considered in the design process.