BRIDGING AS URBAN INTERFACE
COMMUNITY MASTERPLAN FOR MARACANA
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro is a city on the verge of a rapid and massive urban transformation, evidenced by its hosting of the World Cup in 2014, and the Olympics in 2016. Yet urbanistically, the city still remains a series of fragmented an ill connected islands, severed in a large part by a rail corridor that cuts across the city. The site of focus is the Maracana district, the home of the largest stadium in Brazil, and also the site of a school, a large park, and the favela Mangeira.
The design seeks to strategically use the bridge typology to infrastructually re-stitch these neighborhoods. This metaphorical and physical bridge weaves back and forth, constantly shifting its relationship to the city, becoming a series of programmatic elements including – a metro and train station, a library and career center, a community sports facility, and a sports museum.
At the center of the project is the bridge structure spanning across the train tracks. By positioning it diagonally, and making it as thin as possible, it enables the structure to act as a façade communicating between the stadium and the favela. The thinness of the structure allows a great deal of transparency – allowing the activities of the individuals to become the façade, or the image, of this new connectivity.
RIO'S RAIL CORRIDOR: AN ARTERY AND A WOUND
Rio de Janeiro’s growth as a city relied on a series of rail corridors that extended from the city center. The railroad acts as main arteries, transporting people and supplies outwards, and growth followed these lines. However like any heavy infrastructure that cuts across the city, neighborhoods on opposite sides of the railroad become cut off from each other, a condition exacerbated by the sparse frequency of connections transversely across the rail corridor.
01. A MORE FREQUENT CONNECTIVITY:
The existing opportunities for crossing the site are more than 1.5 miles apart - between the Mangueira pedestrian overpass and Sao Cristovao metro station. More opportunities to cross over increases accessibility across demographics.
02. DIAGONALLY CONTEXTUAL:
A diagonal connection across the rail links the university and the park axially, while referencing the favella and stadium elevationally. The 'facade' of the diagonal refers to and reflects the larger context.
03. URBAN INTERFACE:
The abandoned military site to the north of the rail has potential to be re-programmed into the public realm, becoming a collective interface between the favella, park, and stadium.
04. BRIDGE ANCHORHEADS:
Although the physical act of bridging is the primary source of connectivity, it is crucial for existing programmatic anchors along the rail's edge to re-appropriated and integrated into the bridging intervention.
MEGAFORM AS MASTERPLAN
As a whole, this winding snake like form is over 1km long, but this megaform never reads as a monolithic structure - rather, its shape and function adapts as necessary. The scheme manifests in a series of connected links that visually register as individual segments, differentiated in volume, orientation, and program.
AN EPHEMERAL THINNESS
The further one moves away from the building, the more of an ephemeral quality it takes on, until the building seems to be merely a two dimensional grid imposed on the sky, animated by the activities of its own community. Visual lines are drawn from varying distances and heights to determine the amount of building that one can “see through”, as a quantitative metric for transparency.