Rio 2016 – With the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games about to kick off, the city is rushing to get ready for the grand opening despite critical issues. Brazil is a country with a DNA set for celebration. ArchiPanic looks into some of the most spectacular architectures, their legacy but also the contingent emergencies. From Rio State declaration of financial emergency to the building sites behind schedule but also pollution issues and the safety of construction workers.
The battle for Olympic medals will take place in 32 venues in Rio de Janeiro, plus five football co-host cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasília, Manaus, Salvador and São Paulo. The official opening and major football matches will be held in the legendary Maracanà. The iconic stadium was modernised for the 2014 World Cup.
The Olympics park in Barra de Tijuca is the core of the Games. AECOM masterplanned a trianguar lagoon-side peninsula that will venues dotted along a network of snaking pathways. The project is inpired by the tropical landscape of Brazil coastline reflecting mountains and valleys. A black-and-white central axis reminding Copacabana iconic boulevards leads guests from the main entrance to the waterfront. Here seven temporary stadiums are on their way to be completed – A drone flies over Barra Olympic Park.
Other major areas include the Deodoro Park by Viglieca & Associados and Oscar Niemayer’s Sambodrome, the traditional venue for carnival samba school parades that was renovated in 2012. Marina da Glória by Eduardo Magolfo near Flamengo Park will host sailing competitions and has been implemented with a temporary facility and a new peer. Many of the venues where already exhisting or were recently renovated for 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Pan American Games in 2007.
World famous Copacabana Beach will host the Beach Volley Arena, a temporary structure facing the sea not far the iconic Sugarloaf. The Future Arena by Lopes Santos & Ferreira Gomes + AndArchitects has been built using ‘nomadic architecture’. The building will be dismantled and the materials will be used to construct four state schools.
But the key-legacy project is MetrôRio, the underground line linking the the Olympic Park to Copacabana and Ipanema. The latest updates are vague. Evenctually, it will be fully functioning for the public after the Paralympic games.
Rio State in in charge of the underground construction as well as the clean up the sewage and other pollution in Guanabara Bay, which will stage the yachting events. But officials say that this is now impossible due to a lack of funds, “which means Olympic sailors may have to dodge plastic bags, human excrement and other waste” writes the Guardian. The Rio State also declared a state of financial emergency and begged for federal support to avoid a “total collapse in public security, health, education, transport and environmental management”.
Rio Labour inspector Raul Vital Brasil criticises the organisers as “Eleven people have died due to the pressure applied when projects had to be accelerated. That meant safety standards were sacrificed. It’s a problem of management” [The Guardian].
The Olympic village is seriously behind schedule too. The Wall Street Journal reports that organisers handed delegations inhabitable apartments with no hot water, faulty plumbing and exposed wiring, among other issues. Competitors from Argentina decamped from the athletes’ village, following their counterparts from Australia. While local organisers have about 600 construction laborers working round-the-clock to fix the units, some countries, including Italy, have hired their own repairmen – Watch video.
Many are the the other question marks as well: the impeachment of the Prime Minister, pollution and sustainability concerns, doping-scandals, the Zika virus menace and the ominous presence of terrorism threat… Will Rio 2016 Olympics be ready for the big day? According to organisers “Brazil will deliver spectacular games”. We are looking forward to enjoy good news. Stay tuned!