The new Arena Corinthians, which is currently hosting the 2014 World Cup, utilizes more than 800,000 square feet of glass. (Photo credit: Edson Lopes Jr A2 FOTOGRAFIA)
The new Arena Corinthians, which is currently hosting the 2014 World Cup, utilizes more than 800,000 square feet of glass. (Photo credit: Edson Lopes Jr A2 FOTOGRAFIA)

The field may be grass, but the stadium is glass—at least a good portion of it.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off today with the opening ceremony and first game being held at Brazil’s brand new Arena Corinthians—a stadium with plenty of glass to show off.

The arena, which was unofficially completed in mid-April due to some still ongoing construction, utilizes more than 800,000 square feet and 1,500 tons of AGC’s Clearvision® glass, with much of it on the east and west facades.

The west façade covers nearly 75,000 square feet and is made up of 1,800 lites of various types of glass, including double-curved, which was used to simulate the image of a ball hitting the back of the net. On the opposite façade stand 1,300 13-square foot glass plates and a video screen spanning nearly 37,000 square feet.

“It is one of the most amazing facades ever built,” says Denis Ramboux, AGC director of sales and marketing. “On one side, you have the largest ever LED glass screen, and on the other an organic facade with all pieces of glass double-curved, tempered, laminated and silk-screen printed. All pieces are different.”

Ramboux adds that Clearvision was used “because of the high level transparency and its ability to guarantee a truer color throughout the project. Most of the glass is silk-screen printed with white paint (the color of Corinthians), and the team wanted a pure and consistent white color.”

One-hundred eighty-three thousand square feet of glass was used to cover the VIP lounges, with thickness ranging from half an inch to an inch, and approximately 237,000 square feet of glass was utilized for the stadium’s balustrades.

Construction began in late May of 2011, and according to the arena’s official website, saw around 6,000 workers involved in its building, with 2,500 at one time in the height of the work. Approximately $366 million (R$820 million) was invested in the project, with half of it coming in the form of federal financing.

Anibal Coutinho was the architect for the project, and Odebrecht was the general contractor. T2G | Technical Glass Group was one of the contractors to provide the glazing and utilized Diamon-Fusion International (DFI) for its flagship coating product, which was applied throughout the stadium. DFI corporate vice president Guillermo U. Seta says the coating was used “for an easy to clean feature and also protect from scratches and impact during construction, all the while keeping an eco-friendly theme.”

T2G’s Mariana Amos says there were as many as 50 glaziers at one point working on the project, adding that their work was unique because “Never before had we used metal frame and glass bonding technology the way we have used in this project.

“Every piece of glass on the stadium is a unique size to fit a unique aperture in the facade and rooftop. This is a singularity from our projects, in which take pride–No project is like another, and we are always seeking innovations, differentiated and unique solutions on our new ventures.”

The stadium normally plays host to the Sport Club Corinthians Paulista and hosted Brazil vs. Croatia today. It also will host at least six World Cup games over the next month. It is also slated as a venue for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“This stadium has been a dream for over 100 years for Sport Club Corinthians Paulista in which the architect, the builder and the team´s fans take great pride,” says Amos. “Besides that, we take pride to be part of the opening of the World Cup and host of several important soccer game matches.

“It is very rewarding to know that over 3.2 billion people watched the World Cup opening and could prestige and honor our project, live and through television coverage.”