Architectural wonders of World Cup countries

Architectural wonders of World Cup countries

With the built environment community going World Cup mad along with the rest of the world I thought I would take a look at architecture and construction outside of football stadiums. I have pulled together some examples of how countries participating in the 2014 competition have contributed to the global built environment.

Brazil – aggressive concrete and urban engineering
Praça das Artes A renaissance of Brazilian architecture is taking place behind scenes of discontent around the construction of Brazil’s 12 World Cup stadiums. A recent article in the LA Times notes how a new generation of architects are building on the country’s “bold, progressive tradition of aggressive concrete and urban engineering”. A key example of this is the new Praça das Artes, an art complex currently being developed in downtown São Paulo. Once complete the building will be open to the public making the building a striking contrast to the country’s stadium offerings which have been marred by controversy throughout their construction.

Belgium – the home of Art Nouveau
Belgium was a leader in the Art Nouveau movement in the early 20th Century. Structures throughout capital city Brussels are hailed as some of the best examples of this movement with many being recognised as “world heritage” sites by UNESCO. Art Nouveau is considered a “total” art style encompassing graphic art, jewellery and furniture as well as interior design and architecture. Although the movement originated in Europe evidence of it’s influence can be seen worldwide and the style is often credited as the bridge between the historic revivals styles of the 19th Century and Modernism.

Japan – looking forward to 2020
Tokyo Olympic Stadium The 2020 Olympics are the next focus for the global construction community. Plans for the Tokyo Olympics are well under way with the games set to give the country the momentum to recover from the 2011 earthquake that devasted northeastern Japan in 2011. recently reported that the UK and Japan have signed a trade co-operation deal which will pave “the way for UK firms to bid for and work on preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics”. The UK’s expertise in delivering large scale events has been demonstrated by it’s delivery of the 2012 games.

Iran – Azadi Tower
The Azadi Tower is the symbol of Iran’s capital city Tehran. The magnificant tower was constructed between 1969 and 1971 to commemorate the formation of the Persian Empire. Originally named the Shahyad Tower, meaning "Kings' Memorial", this gateway to Iran was renamed following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. The tower stands above the Azadi Museum which is located in the basement of the structure and houses artifacts from throughout the history of Iran. The tower itself is a representation of both Sassanid and Islamic architecture and represents over 2,500 years of the country’s rich history.

The World Cup is a time when all countries and nations unite in their mutual love of football. As the world gets smaller we can all watch together and communicate live as the matches happen. Similarly in today’s built environment global collaboration means that a British architect is able to design the focal point of a global event on the other side of the world. Innovations such as BIM enable communication not only across all stages of the construction cycle but throughout all corners of the globe.

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Posted by
Lauren Easton - Editorial Account Manager

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