Populous complete stadium for FIFA World Cup 2014


Architecture firm, Populous has completed the 42,000 seat stadium for the Brazil FIFA World Cup which will be kicking off this summer in the Rio Grande do Norte.

Sporting twenty massive aliminium petal folds, the Arena das Dunas is one of the six new stadiums constructed for the international football tournament this year and will be used to host four group stage matches in the city of Natal.

It also serves as the new home stadium for the local football clubs ABC FC and America de Natal.


The structure is clothed in steel truss and clad with aliminium tiles, providing an asymmetric form that references the sand dune and landscape of the surrounding city.

Plenty of natural light penetrates the stadium through the translucent slices of polycarbonate that fill the gaps between each petal of aliminium.

“We have designed a stadium and a masterplan that showcases the aesthetics of the beautiful surrounding area of das Dunas and will create a great atmosphere for the World Cup 2014,” said Populous senior principal and leader of the project, Christopher Lee,

The stadium seats 42,000 audience members with the first two stands being 15m away from the action. Up to 10,600 of these seats can be temporarily removed.

It also featured four VIP lounge areas that create a private viewing area for 1000 guests.

Sustainability is also on the radar with the selection of grass species, taking into account the region’s hot climate. The grass can be irrigated using recycled rainwater collected from the roof as part of an integral drainage system.

With the completion of the World Cup, the structure will be used to host other sporting event, music concerts and trade shows.

“The arena is in the city centre and after the World Cup we can set up a commercial area between the access ways,” said stadium director Charles Maia. “Since the beginning, the arena was designed as a multipurpose venue that can be used year-round. Our goal is to make it profitable.”

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