These Architects Have Ingenious Plan For Brazil's World Cup Stadiums

Brazil's national government poured $4 billion into new and renovated World Cup stadiums for this summer's tournament -- a sky-high price tag that drew harsh criticism from many of its own citizens. So what should happen now that the 12 stadiums' intended purpose has run its course?

If you ask Sylvain Macaux and Axel de Stampa of 1 Week 1 Project, the answer is simple: Make new spaces available for the Brazilians who need it most.

The French architects have proposed transforming each gigantic athletic facility into affordable housing complexes for Brazil's homeless and impoverished populations, according to Gizmag. The project, titled "Casa Futebol," could house an estimated 20,000 residents.

home arena football dunes
Photo by Jobson Galdino

"We've read, like everybody, about the social protests in Brazil, about all the money wasted for the World Cup," Macaux told Fast Company. "We tried to find an answer to the issue in our own way, with a concept and a powerful image."

The stadiums will continue costing as much as $250,000 per month to maintain, but will bring in only a fraction of the revenue and audience sizes the World Cup drew. The 1 Week 1 Project proposal would help alleviate those financial burdens while filling a crucial housing deficit affecting Brazil's poorest citizens.

Al Jazeera reported in May that about 250,000 Brazilians were either evicted or threatened with eviction due to skyrocketing housing costs near World Cup stadiums. The poorest Brazilians bore the brunt of the heftier living expenses, with Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre most affected by increases in housing costs, according to the Popular Committee for the World Cup and Olympics.

"The stadiums are so big that it is almost absurd," Macaux told Fast Company. Their "almost absurd" sizes would allow an estimated 1,000 to 2,000, 1,130-square-foot housing units to be built into each new stadium, Mic reported.

world cup stadium renovations
Photo by Castro Mello

world cup renovated stadium
Photo by Castro Mello / Tom Faquini

But soccer fans in Brazil wouldn't have to worry about their iconic stadiums turning into nothing more than glorified apartment complexes. Soccer matches could still be played on the interior fields, staying true to Brazil's interest in its national sport while "proposing an alternative in the deficit of housing," as the 1 Week 1 Project website states.

world cup interior stadium renovations
Photo by Populous Cup 2014

So can we expect these incredible stadium transformations anytime soon? Not so fast.

"It's a bit ambitious, but we would like to bring people to question themselves about the social contexts that always accompany these programs," Macaux told Fast Company, noting that like other 1 Week 1 Project designs, the proposal is more of a thought experiment.



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