The Corinthians Arena, located in the east of the city of São Paulo in Itaquera, shall be able to seat 48,000 spectators. A main requisite laid down by FIFA to hold the opening ceremony of the 2014 Football World Cup, is a necessary increase of an additional 20,000 seats. This extra seating capacity shall be provisional and removed once the championship is over. These works which cover a surface area of approximately 200.000 m2 shall have some 3,500 car park spaces. In addition, the stadium foresees installations to receive the 32 Heads of State, representatives from participant countries and upwards of 5,000 journalists from all over the world.
This stadium will make an old dream come true for Sport Club Corinthians Paulisata. These works are being fulfilled through a private contract between Corinthians and Odebrechet. Works started on 30 May 2011.
The stadium is a project designed by Anibal Coutinho from CDCA Arquitectos. A key factor regarding the architectural design is the adaptation to the differences in height of the topography so as to minimize earth movements.
The project has also taken a sustainability approach by employing rainwater recycling systems and self-generation of energy using photovoltaic panels placed on the façade.
The football pitch is in a north-south direction. The main grandstands have been placed on the East and West sides where practically all the necessary services for the stadium are available. The West side is the greatest in height. The stands, in both the north and south ends of the stadium, practically reach pitch level
The four sectors of the structure shall be built with structural concrete. Practically 80% of the structural concrete structure is prefabricated, whereas the remaining is either in situ or composite structure, steel beams and concrete compression slabs. Composite structure has only been employed on those occasions where construction conditions prevented an all concrete solution.
Due to the importance of the prefabricated structure in this project, a prefabrication workshop has been installed on site which covers an area of some 7,500m2 and where 45 people work the day shift and 15 the night. This workshop, which has to produce around 3,500 pieces, shall number 150 workers in peak periods. The workshop shall manufacture columns, beams, tiered grandstand beams and stands.
In addition, there are further prefabricated elements, such as piles and hollow-core slabs, which are supplied by local prefabricators.
The choice of a structural solution with a high number of prefabricated elements is paramount to accelerate construction times and make them compatible with the demands laid down by the project.
Sectors East and West, which as previously mentioned house all the services required by the project, have been fulfilled in respect to the vertical loads, employing in most cases, prefabricated beam-column frames. These frames are set each 7.50m except in special areas, specifically the outer spans, which are placed each 10.35m.
The slabs are 20+6cm hollow core to cover spans of 7.50m and 25+6cm for the 10.35m spans.
In the areas where the geometry, structural or construction demands did not permit the use of hollow core slabs, they have been substituted with in situ slabs.
Regarding the horizontal loads, stiff vertical cores have been built which stabilize the structure against horizontal loads, along with the collaboration of the frames in their corresponding resistant directions, and against the effects of vibration so as to assure spectator comfort caused by the dynamic effects generated by the spectators themselves.
Due to the ground conditions, all the foundations have been fulfilled with prefabricated driven piles. Here, 50 and 70cm diameter piles have been employed. In other cases, where horizontal loads have to be resisted, as in the vertical core footings, battered piles are used.
The walls in the vertical cores are placed in situ. They are executed employing sliding formwork and as a result it has been necessary to foresee the placement of coupler bars for the slabs.
The columns are prefabricated and conceptually identical to those used in other stadiums. In the East side the columns are single elements whereas on the west side they may be composed of two or three elements which are spliced together.
The frames are executed with monolithic connections which arise from the casting of the concrete compression layer on the hollow core slabs. Due to clearance height restrictions and height between floors, the column corbels which support the beams are integrated into the depth of the beams. The continuity of the negative reinforcement of the beams is fulfilled employing couplers which connect up to the prefabricated columns. The continuity of the negative reinforcement in the hollow core slabs is fulfilled employing splice reinforcement going through predrilled holes in the prefabricated column.
In some cases, due to free height demands for vehicle transit, it has been necessary to substitute the prefabricated concrete beams for shallower composite beams.
In other areas, such as between levels 2 and 3 on the east side, where columns have been eliminated to free up space to introduce an auditorium, the prefabricated beams and columns have been substituted for deep, post stressed ones cast in situ.
The Corinthians stadium project is a challenge in all respects. It is an emblematic project set within very demanding contextual, time and cost conditions, which require the most suitable and fitting structural solutions.