New Arena – a few pictures and personal reflections

Construction on the already infamous “Itaquerão” stadium destined for Corinthians the opening of the 2014 World Cup can halt at any moment due to uncertainties regarding the financing. The Federal Government is already sketching up a Plan B: move the inauguration game to Brasilia.

engenhãoIn Rio de Janeiro, local authorities yesterday declared the João Havelange stadium, commonly known as the Engenhão, closed until further notice. The stadium, built between 2004 and 2007, has been deemed structurally unsafe: strong winds have weakened the roofing.  While the Maracaná stadium undergoes its complete renovation, the Engenhão has been Rio de Janeiros’ main arena. The big four now scramble to find solutions: Fluminense have already announced they are taking their Libertadores games to Vasco’s São Genoário stadium.

In the meantime, Palmeiras’ New Arena is quietly materialising, centimetre by centimetre. With roughly 68 per cent of works concluded, Latin America’s most modern multi-purpose stadium is coming true without any public money or tax breaks, only through private investments.

The progress of the construction can be followed in detail on the official hotsite of the New Arena (also available in English), as well as on several blogs and forums, for example the Pró Palmeiras, La Nostra Casa, Blog da Arena Palestra Itália and the Skyscraper City thread. What follows below is something different and very modest, a few personal reflections based on a visit* conducted to the construction site at the end of 2012.
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Clean - within the possible limits of a large construction site.
Clean – within the possible limits of a large construction site.
organised
Organised – supplies and equipment stacked in an orderly fashion left and right.
Environmentally sound - trees and plants standing green and strong just meters from the concrete being raised.
Environmentally sound – trees and plants standing green and strong just meters from the concrete being raised.
Transparent - constant evaluation of suppliers by use of a large matrix pinned to the wall.
Transparent – constant evaluation of suppliers by use of a large matrix pinned to the wall.
Good mannered - it's a "good afternoon" or a slight nod from EVERY worker we meet.
Good mannered – it’s a “good afternoon” or a slight nod from EVERY worker we meet.
Safe - bright vests, helmets, protection glasses, boots, gloves, harnesses... It's all there.
Safe – bright vests, helmets, protection glasses, boots, gloves, harnesses… It’s all there.
Respectful - as this quote illustrates: "While working the shifts, all are Palmeiras. Whatever they are outside of working hours is their own business. But in here, they are Palmeiras."
Respectful – as this quote illustrates: “While working the shifts, all are Palmeiras. Whatever they are outside of working hours is their own business. But in here, they are Palmeiras.”

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To round things off, a few bonus pictures. And never forget: Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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* My very special “thank you” to the marvelous people at DSM, and especially Daniela, granting me access to the construction site and a guided tour. 

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5 Comments

  1. In the year I’ve lived in SP construction has gone really smoothly and it started to go up very quickly (I can see it from where I live). However, that seems to have changed in recent months. I presume that’s because they don’t want to open it until 2014 now given they’re in Serie B?

    1. Andy, consider yourself blessed living so close to the Palestra. : )

      Now, in relation to the construction: the slower pace has nothing to do with serie B, but the fact that Palmeiraas only have permission to do a reform, not a completely new stadium. As of late 2012, the constructor WTorre has been doing the arderous work of placing a part of the new stands (the furthest away curve) on top of the old stands, which can’t be demolished (if that last part be demolished, then it won’t technically be a reform anymore). That’s why work has been very slow as of late: placing the new stands on top of the old is manual labour puzzle style. Cheers and have a great Easter!

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