Tag Archives: housing

Repurposing Brazil’s World Cup Stadiums

Now that the World Cup excitement is over, one question remains: what will Brazil do with the 12 stadiums built for the massive sport event? Architects Axel de Stampa and Sylvain Macaux of 1Week1Project created hypothetical designs entitled “Casa Futebol” that propose to insert affordable housing units into the existing structures.


A large number of the buildings will have to be repurposed or demolished (otherwise they will end up sitting vacant). Some of the stadiums might be converted into public parks, but one of the most cost effective reuse plans is based on the idea of keeping them as event-based venues.


Casa Futebol, on the other hand, proposes to transform the stadiums into much needed affordable housing structures. Modular housing units would be installed between concrete pylons and stacked around the stadiums’ perimeter, making use of most of the space which is otherwise not used. The architects plan to keep the original function of the stadiums active, with some of the ticket revenue used for maintenance of the residential units.


While Casa Futebol seems to be the most socially conscious option (considering the great housing deficit), many questions will be raised about the structural stability and capacity of the existing stadiums to make this plan a reality. What do you think?

Images: 1week1project

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Heineken WOBO: When Beer and Architecture Met

ArchDaily recently discussed the WOBO – World Bottle – an idea realized by brewing mogul, Alfred Heineken, that would benefit both the beer drinker and the homeless.

Upon visiting Curaçao during a world tour of his factories in 1960, Alfred Heineken was struck by two things: the beaches were littered with beer bottles – many bearing his name – and there was a shortage of affordable building materials, which meant the lower-classes were consigned to poor quality housing.

World Bottle 1

In a stroke of either genius or madness, Heineken realized that both problems would be solved if people could build their houses with his beer bottles. Intent on realizing his vision, he enlisted Dutch architect N. John Habraken to design a glass brick that he could also sell beer in.

World Bottle 3

While Habraken’s first few attempts were dismissed for either being too costly and difficult to produce or not pretty enough to sell beer in, he eventually settled on the design known as the Heineken WOBO (World Bottle) – a piece of emerald green glassware tailor made to serve as both a beer bottle and a building material.

In 1963, the brewery produced a test run of 100,000 bottles. The design was, of course, first and foremost a functioning beer bottle, but when emptied and laid on its side, it became a self-aligning, interlocking, glass brick. With this design, a basic 10×10 foot hut could be built using one-thousand bricks.

World Bottle 4

Despite its shortcomings, the concept was revolutionary; as author and architecture critic Martin Pawley describes, it was “the first mass production container ever designed from the outset for secondary use as a building component”. Heineken was so insistant that they be used as bricks that he planned on printing building instructions on the side each bottle. Habraken even suggested shipping the bottles on special plastic pallets which could be reused as roofing.

World Bottle 5

The idea unfortunately fell from the spotlight and, despite a brief resurgence of interest in the 1970′s, only two of structures were ever built: a small glass hut and a shed – both of which were retrofitted with WOBO walls located on the Heineken estate in Noordwijk near Amsterdam. The bottles themselves are few and far-between today, and instead of being the mass affordable building material they were intended to be, they have become rare collectors items.

Images: ArchDaily

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