Design and engineering consultancy AECOM has been awarded additional design responsibilities on the Rio 2016 Olympic Park.

AECOM has been awarded additional design responsibilities at the Rio 2012 Olympic Park. © AECOM
AECOM has been awarded additional design responsibilities at the Rio 2012 Olympic Park. Copyright: AECOM

As well as masterplanning the main Olympic Park, it is now involved in design development work on seven of the park venues, and designing infrastructure and landscaping works. The scope of venue work includes engineering and architecture, says AECOM, and this will be led by its specialist sports architecture team.

AECOM’s masterplan takes its inspiration from the dramatic natural setting of Rio de Janeiro. Located on a former Formula 1 race track in Barra da Tijuca, the main Olympic park sits on a triangular space with water on two sides. The southern peninsula of the site will accommodate an entertainment area where some 12,000 people will be able to watch events on large screens.

The park’s design draws from the Atlantica Forrest that surrounds the city, says AECOM. This context provides the conceptual inspiration and influences the architecture and landscape design, ‘as will the Brazilian culture and strong design heritage’.

The masterplan ‘sets out to respect and reinforce the balance between native ecology, the city and its people while delivering the platform for sporting excellence’.

While London was about demonstrating how a short global event can lead to the long term regeneration of one of the most neglected and deprived areas of the city, says AECOM, Rio is about celebrating Brazil’s emergence as a world power as well as making sure there is a strong legacy plan in place.

The vision for the future is not just to create a global stage for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2016, but also, in the longer term, to create a new legacy district with new homes, jobs and places for leisure activities with a new central park and a thriving beautiful waterfront. It is also set to become a global centre of sporting excellence, with a Legacy Olympic Training Centre using the Games’ permanent sporting venues.

Jason Prior, AECOM’s head of buildings and places, says the company is drawing on its experience of being masterplanners of the London Olympics to take the design of the Rio venues and park even further, ‘which will hopefully be reflected in the end result in 2016’.

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