Architects: JBMC (João Batista Martinez Corrêa, Beatriz Pimenta Corrêa, Emiliano Homrich, Cecília de Souza Pires, Gabriela Assis Guerra Costa)
Location: Avenida Presidente Vargas, Gamboa, Río De Janeiro, Brazil
Structural Enginner: Noronha Engenharia
Structural Consultant: Paulo Ricardo de Barros Mendes
Collaborators: Estúdio MAAC, Estúdio Maya, RC arquitetos, Plantae Paisagismo, Tria Design
Photographs: Nelson Kon
Cidade Nova Metro Station and Footbridge are located on Presidente Vargas Avenue, Gamboa, downtown Rio de Janeiro. Already under construction in a stretch of elevated tracks, Cidade Nova will enable the integration between the two existing lines, playing a key role in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Gamboa is a century-old district decaying in spite of its rich infrastructure. Presidente Vargas Av., one of the city’s widest and busiest avenues, imposes a physical barrier to its revitalization, revealing the need for a connection between both sides.
In attempt to connect Gamboa with the major corporate buildings on the opposite side, a 207 meter-long covered footbridge was designed allowing both pedestrian crossing and bus-metro integration. Supported by only three long-span steel arches with entwined bases, two of which are 90 meter-long and one, 40 meter-long. Being close to world-famous Sambódromo, the 6 meter-tall soffit will allow float passage. Adequate lighting will guarantee the noble-metal tones of the structure to be enhanced at night, while during the day sunlight will liven up the metallic paint and its colors.
The choice of painting colors was made by Amelia Toledo well-known Brazilian artist, who was invited by the architects to participate in this project, as their main objective is to bring art closer to daily users.
The two main arches were entwined in order to allow the mandatory 6-meter clearance from road to footbridge soffit. This solution was possible due to the existing central road canal and its both respective sidewalks.
The choice of the constructive methods and materials took local constraints into account. Aiming to disrupt traffic minimally, the steel structure enables part of the assembly to be produced elsewhere shortening the work at the construction site.
In the station itself, a row of arches support the mezzanine, allowing a pillar-free platform. The connection between the station and the footbridge takes place in the mezzanine, which, in the future, may also be connected with a nearby coach terminal. With this in mind, there are plans for a new footbridge located north in order to overpass the existing rail-yard obstacle, favoring Gambôa neighborhood integration. In order to prevent conflicts between existing train catenaries and the future footbridge soffit, it will be located approximately 5-meter from Cidade Nova station mezzanine level which will require new staircase, escalator and lift shaft complement.
The serrated footbridge ceiling was designed in order to provide a number of back light advertisement displays, which will be a source of revenue for Metro Rio. This advertisement display place was chosen to give all windows a clear view of the outside landscape and an enticing environment consisting of a large variety of visual stimuli all along the footbridge will make a relatively long walk, barely perceptible.
The footbridge, as a part of city life, features a small business kiosk area. The station mezzanine level also provides room for four small retail shops.
At the northern boundary, in order to keep the rather unattractive adjoining landscape out of user’s sight, an entire wall destined to advertisement was designed.
As already said, this project will enhance the less developed side of the avenue. Our intention was to create a balance between both sides by means of comfortable and adequate well-lit sidewalks, favoring station and footbridge access, as well as a leisure-oriented square surrounded by green areas.
The footbridge is the only access to the station .It connects both sides of the avenue and also gives access to passengers from bus corridors located on the central reservations bellow, which are equipped with staircases, escalators and lifts for handicapped people.
Concerned about passenger safety, the wash basins of the public users are located on the very mezzanine level in a glazed room; only the toilet stalls are concealed.
All complex Station and Footbridge comply with local and international practices and codes, considering normal and abnormal conditions of station evacuation.
Open to the external environment, differing from others, this station will make use of natural ventilation. Allied with leveled-up practices for insulation, lighting, solar water-heating and rainwater garden irrigation, the Cidade Nova station will save a considerable amount of natural resources. Rain water will be collected by gutters and will be stored in an underground water reservoir… This water will be reused for irrigation purposes. Another drainage reservoir will be built to retain rain water during storms and later return it to the city drainage system.
As for the footbridge and station shapes, we resorted to arches as their simplicity could match the structure with architectural purposes. One of our main concerns was to obtain a clean design matching to the city’s environment but at the same time strong enough to participate in its landscape in a positive way. We also considered the aspect that Avenida Presidente Vargas constitutes historical axis housing at its far end the Candelaria Church whose dome dates back of 1877.
The massive use of glass in the footbridge and its accesses represents both the search for transparency, and, as it is a public space, user’s safety.
The lighting system adopted consists of a single melted aluminum self supported (5-meter span) rail which holds light-fixtures followed by emergence lighting, loudspeakers, and CCTV cameras. This system allows light beams to be cast directly to floors or soffits, favoring station vault views.
JBMC Architecture was chosen by Metro Rio, metro system concessionaire, due to their large experience in metro station design. Sustainability criteria were agreed upon the client and JBMC.