Fabric Architecture | August 2014
By Jake Kulju
Arena Pantanal is located in the midst of the southern Amazonian region of Brazil in the city of Cuiaba, the nation’s hottest. Arena Pantanal needed to do more than provide seating for soccer fans: it needed to provide a climate-controlled environment for spectators during the scorching midday hours.
Designers turned to fabric applications to provide shade, design elements and a unique microclimate within the arena. Serge Ferrari used a facade constructed from Précontraint 902 S2 material that was green in more ways than one. The fabric was created in a cactus green color, and provided an off-grid climate control system. Its color and commitment to sustainability earned the arena the nickname “verdão,” which is the Portuguese word for green.
“The facade provides visual and thermal protection for spectators by being strategically placed to block the most direct rays of the sun from the north and west while providing natural ventilation,” Fredrickson says.
The true ingenuity of the fabric facade in Arena Pantanal lies in its more active climate-control system, however. While providing shade is an integral part of climate control, it takes more to counter the stifling heat of the southern Amazon. The facade aided in creating a microclimate within the arena by setting large, open basins of water adjacent to the active ventilation of the facade. The system took advantage of the natural air movement created by the facade to spur cooling via rapid, large-scale evaporation.
“The weather is so hot in Cuiabá that this water evaporates continually,” says Laura Nascimento, director of sales, Serge Ferrari, Brazil. “The ventilation provided by the membrane helps to continually disseminate this humidity throughout the stadium and provides a cooler environment for spectators.”