Manaus stadium by GMP Architekten
hosts four World Cup football matches

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England's nail-biting World Cup football match against Italy on Saturday took place inside this basket-inspired stadium designed by German firm GMP Architekten in a city in the middle of the Amazon rainforest (+ slideshow).

Manaus Stadium by GMP

As one of three FIFA World Cup 2014 stadiums either designed or renovated by GMP Architekten, the Arena da Amazônia was built on the former site of a smaller stadium in Manaus, northern Brazil.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

In response to the hot and humid climate, the arena is shaded by a curving facade and roof, featuring a criss-crossing exterior pattern intended to reference a traditional indigenous basket.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

"With the design of the new Manaus stadium, the aim was to come up with a very simple but highly efficient stadium that would at the same time specifically symbolise the location, particularly the fascination and natural diversity of the tropical rainforest," said the architects.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

Held in place by a system of mutually bracing cantilevers, the roof provides shade and shelter over the spectator balconies, but will also channel rainwater away during the tropical showers that are typical throughout the year.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

Meanwhile, the exterior envelope is clad with a translucent fibreglass fabric that allows the building to visibly glow at night.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

The stadium has capacity for just over 44,400 spectators and was constructed to host four World Cup fixtures. The first major game to take place in the stadium was between England and Italy, and it will also host group-phase matches between Cameroon and Croatia, the USA and Portugal, and Honduras and Switzerland.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

The base of the arena accommodates player facilities, parking areas, VIP access and media rooms. Offices, spectator boxes and a restaurant are located within a ring that separates the upper and lower tiers of seating stands.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

GMP Arkitechten, who previously designed three stadiums for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, worked on the project in collaboration with São Paulo office Stadia and structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann und Partner.

Manaus Stadium by GMP

This time around the firm also developed the concept for BCMF Arquitetos' redevelopment of the 1960s-built Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte and consulted on the renovation of the Estádio Nacional de Brasília.

Located between the airport and the city centre, the building forms part of a sports park featuring an aquatic centre, field and track facilities, multi-purpose halls and a sambadrome – used for Brazilian parades.

More Brazilian World Cup stadiums:

  • Mineirão Stadium renovation by BCMF Arquitetos
  • Populous completes Arena das Dunas for FIFA World Cup 2014
  • Brazil's FIFA World Cup 2014 stadiums photographed by Leonardo Finotti

Read on for a short description from GMP Arkitechten:


Arena da Amazônia, Manaus

This stadium design was based on the idea of creating a simple but highly efficient stadium which also makes reference to the special location, to the fascination and natural diversity of forms in the tropical rainforest. Designed for 44,400 spectators, the stadium is located at the central traffic axis that links the airport with the inner city.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

The new building was integrated into a sports park with Sambadrome, field and track facilities, multi-purpose halls and an aquatic centre. The project was developed in cooperation with the GMP partner practice STADIA from São Paulo and the structural engineers Schlaich Bergermann und Partner.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Level 1 plan - click for larger image

Making best use of the topography with its gentle slope in the terrain, the stadium has been placed on a base which provides space for VIP access, the media, the players and parking spaces. A ring including spectator boxes, offices and a restaurant separates the upper tier from the lower tier, which is recessed in the base.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Level 2 plan - click for larger image

The roof structure is composed of mutually bracing cantilever elements in the form of hollow steel box girders which also serve as large gutters for the discharge of the enormous quantities of water expected during tropical rain events.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Level 3 plan - click for larger image

In view of the hot and humid climate at the Amazon, the roof extends into a facade which provides shade to the spectator balconies and vertical access routes. The roof and facade panels consist of translucent glass fibre fabric.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Roof plan - click for larger image

The Arena da Amazônia is one of the world’s first stadiums to be certified under the LEED scheme administered by the US Green Building Council.

Manaus Stadium by GMP
Section - click for larger image
Manaus Stadium by GMP
Section - click for larger image
Manaus Stadium by GMP
Detailed section - click for larger image
  • Kalum

    Financing, controversy, FIFA corruption aside, this stadium offers a very nice and soft design. I love how the light finds its way through the structure.

  • cheers

    It’s Architekten, not Arkitechten.