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Maracanã Stadium Mário Filho

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Realization membrane structures

Governo do Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro
Roof Area
46100 m²

Norberto Odebrecht S.A., Brasil


Daniel Fernandez


Schlaich, Bergermann & Partners, Germany



The Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro which will host the 2014 FIFA Final and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is considered an iconic stadium. After its completion in 1950 the stadium was the biggest in the world with a capacity of up to 180,000 spectators. Even now – after many refurbishments – its 88,000 (fully seated) spectator capacity ranks it among the biggest football arenas in the world. The stadium was named in memory of journalist Mário Filho who championed the construction of the stadium for the World Championship in 1950 in Maracanã, rather than the alternative venue of Jacarepaguá.  

Besides seating the roofing was also completely renovated. The new membrane roof comprises an area of 46,100sqm of PTFE-coated glass fabric which is built on a high pre-tensioned cable structure. The cable structure integrating a steel box compression ring at the outer edge functions as a spokes wheel of a bicycle. The compression ring is like the ‘rim’, the radial cables are the spokes and the ring cables form the ‘center’.  

Spoke wheel cable structures are highly pre-tensioned and are self-stabilizing. All internal forces are taken in the spoke wheel system and the building itself carries only the weight and reaction forces of the life loads. The internal forces are split into tension and suction. To lead these forces well defined through the structure a spreading is done by flying masts in each cable main axis which divides the forces into the tension and suction part.  

Membrane connection is accomplished by a specially designed Hightex clamping system for cable structures, electrical isolation included. Membrane structures designed to carry life loads and especially rain water (snow). For Maracanã the highpoints were designed to comply to static demands. Waterponding is avoided by drainage of the roof  into low-point zones. One  dewatering is done into the funnel and the others in the compression ring area

used materials


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