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Australian architecture practice BVN Architecture received an honourable mention in the recent competition to design the masterplan for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park.
The international design competition called for a masterplan with two settings: an ‘Olympic Games’ mode, and a ‘Legacy’ mode – ensuring the site at Barra da Tijuca could be adapted for future use as an urban area of diversified use.
The winning proposal came from the same firm behind the London 2012 Olympic Park Masterplan: UK-based AECOM, who collaborated with chief architect Bill Hanway and Brazilian project author Daniel Gusmão for the Rio scheme.
The winning project stood out to the jury for its “concept of operation, separate access for athletes and the audience, the logistics for the transport system, the viability of implementation and a unique access for parking. In terms of the legacy that the project will leave to the city, the highlights were environmental preservation and the viability of maintaining and preserving the lagoon.”
Second place was awarded to Ron Turner of American firm Gensler, associated with Brazilian firms Coutinho, Diegues and Lamb and Miguel Pinto Guimarães. Third place was presented to Portuguese architect Tomás Fernandes Almeida Salgado.
BVN Architecture’s scheme was one of three honourable mentions selected by the jury. James Grose, National Director of BVN Architecture, said: “Being commended at this international level of competition is a tremendous confidence booster for Australian architects.
“For some time now, Australian architecture has been defined on the world stage by its derivation from the unique landscape. As global culture becomes more prominent, Australian design is equal to any in the world.”
The BVN scheme had a strong focus on the legacy of the park, with a plan to transpose as much of the 2016 plan as possible into the 2046 urban plan. The plan featured a public concourse for the Olympics and Paralympics that would then become a key feature of the legacy plan.
BVN’s design statement says their aspiration was to ‘future proof’ the development for the remainder of the twenty-first century, designing with sustainable transport modes including light rail and bicycles in mind. “The proposition for the urban settlement of 2046 included a zero-carbon footprint, re-use of waste and on-site power. There was also a focus on the courtyard typology to create a sense of community and social participation through neighbourhood gardens and increased pedestrianisation.”