The Aecom masterplan was announced in August as the winner of an international competition with submissions from 59 teams in 18 countries. It is intended not just to create a venue for the Olympic and Paralympic Games of 2016, but also to provide a new legacy district with new homes, jobs and places for leisure activities.
The bid is focused on 120ha of land in the district of Barra de Tijuca, southwest of Rio. The site – roughly triangular in shape – is set against a backdrop of mountains and overlooks the lagoon of Jacarepagua. The competition was coordinated by Rio’s Municipal Olympic Company, in partnership with the Institute of Architects of Brazil (IAB).
“Working with our local Rio partner, DG Architecture, the designs grew from the idea of a new urban ecology deeply rooted in the culture of Brazil,” saud Bill Hanway, project leader of Aecom’s Rio bid team. “One of our strengths is the ability to draw from our broad expertise in masterplanning, sports architecture and landscape architecture to deliver a unique and contextual solution for the specific challenges in Rio.” In addition to Daniel Gusmao of DG Architecture, the team included Wilkinson Eyre Architects, Pujol Barcelona Architects, IMG Sports and Expedition. Hanway continued: “We imagine a new relationship between built form and environment based on sport, recreation, sustainability and ecology.”
Mayor Eduardo Paes said at the announcement ceremony in August: “We are doing very well in our preparation for the Olympic Games, as this contest proves. Our concern is with the legacy that we will leave for the city. The Olympic Park will be a central facility of the Games, focusing on different sports. One of the aims of this competition was to think about how to occupy this area so that it will be possible to attract private funds for works that would be paid with public funds.”
“Congratulations to Aecom UK for winning the Olympic masterplan competition for Rio 2016,” said deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. “This is great news for Aecom UK and is another example of the fast-expanding business links between the UK and Brazil. “In June Aecom UK was part of my business delegation to Brazil where I launched a series of joint ventures between our two countries. As a result I look forward to hearing about more UK companies using their expertise to win business linked to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
“A key element of the win for Aecom was our ability to use the same project team that worked on London’s Olympic park and its legacy plans. Added to this was the venue design experience of our new global Sports group,” said Jason Prior, chief executive of the pPlanning Design + Development group. “Our proposal for Rio is about understanding the city’s particular needs and using the energy and excitement of the Games as a catalyst for long-term and widespread benefits and change.”
The Rio win coincides with the launch of Aecom’s worldwide sports group, drawing together the the company’s international teams of economists, planners, architects, landscape architects, engineers, urban designers, cost consultants, project and programme managers, management consultants, ecologists, hydrologists, archaeologists, transportation planners, and others.