During the Second World War, Juscelino Kubitschek - then a young mayor keen on modern architecture, built the artificial Pampulha Lake on the periphery of Belo Horizonte, which was already expanding beyond its limits.
Kubitschek invited his 33 year-old friend Oscar Niemeyer, then beginning his professional practice, to design a number of buildings for recreational purposes of the emerging bourgeoisie, including a casino, a yacht club, a dance hall, a church and a hotel. In addition, the largest covered soccer stadium in the world, nicknamed Mineirão, was also being planned in the surroundings of the lake. The stadium was eventually constructed in 1965 and for a number of years was second only to the Maracana in terms of size.
In December 2010, BCMF Architects were commissioned to review and deliver a renovation of the Mineirão Stadium, one of the venues for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The new complex aims to go beyond its primary role as a sports venue, also offering a range of services, retail, culture and entertainment for the city, becoming a new hub daily of activities linked to the touristic Pampulha complex.
The revamped Mineirão, which will maintain its heritage listed 1960’s façade, will, once completed, sit 64,000 fans. The target date for completion is December this year, so here's an update on how things are going:
Pictures courtesy BCMF Arquitetos