British efforts pay off
Over the past two years the UK government has supported in many ways the promotion of sports and events planning and delivery expertise to Brazil. Their ideas grew out of the earlier successful efforts that Australia demonstrated at a number of international sporting events – the Brits took a much more serious view of the potential and supported businesses with considerable resources and senior government leadership. One of the first large contracts was that for masterplanning the Olympic Park, being carried out by AECOM.
Most recently a trade mission headed by Lord Sebastian Coe visited Rio with UK companies. It is likely that the value of contracts to date exceeds £100 million.
UK companies that have been engaged for World Cup projects include:
- Clive Richardson – sports pitch stadia construction specialists for 2014 FIFA World Cup Gremio and Mineriao arenas.
- UK-based Blue Cube in partnership with Brazilian company NORA, has won the tender process to provide 64,000 seats for the Castelao stadium in Fortaleza.
- Populous – 2014 World Cup Natal stadium architects. Populous were official architectural and overlay design services provider for London 2012.
- ISG – construction and operation of the 45,000 seat 2014 World Cup Arena Pernambuco, Recife.
- Steer Davies Gleave – providing independent transport and major event consultancy to nine World Cup cities, including Rio de Janeiro. The company assisted the Olympic Delivery Authority on transport planning work as part of the planning for the London 2012 Games.
For the Rio Olympics related projects, a growing list of companies have been successful:
- AndArchitects is teaming up with a Rio-based Lopes, Santos & Ferreira Gomes to design the handball arena. The João Havelange Olympic Stadium was designed by architects, Gilson Santos, Geraldo Lopes and José R. Ferreira Gomes, with Carlos Porto.
- 3D Reid, which worked on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games velodrome, has secured a position on the team delivering Rio's velodrome. Gordon McGhie worked on the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. 3D Reid will work with local practice BLAC Architects as specialist venue consultants, advising local designers on the design development and delivery of the Olympic velodrome.
- Wilkinson Eyre Architects – Rio 2016 Olympic Park masterplan architect advisors with AECOM.
- Consultant Arup has been awarded two contracts to work with Brazilian design firms on the COT (Olympic Training Halls), the largest venue of the Games. Arup has teamed up with Brazilian design firm Rio Mais for the project. Arup will also provide structural analysis for the Velodrome. Arup is also sustainability advisor to the city government for the Rio 2016 Olympic Village project. Arup opened offices in Rio and São Paulo in October 2012.
- Norman Foster’s practice, which is working on a number of redevelopment and masterplan schemes in the country, will shortly open an office in São Paulo.
Other UK companies which have secured work include:
- PwC – consulting work for the Rio Investment Agency.
- Ernst & Young – professional services consulting for the Rio 2016 Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
- Belo Horizonte, the south-eastern Brazilian city scheduled to stage six matches at the 2014 World Cup, has appointed MLA True Communications, sister company of Vero Communications, to support its international promotions campaign in the build-up to the tournament.
Part of your own strategy to 'go global' and embark on overseas projects might include teaming up, in some way or another, with UK companies.