Architects: Grupo Suma
- Area: 10982 m²
- Year: 2014
Manufacturers: Euro Seating, Euro Seating (Proveedor: A & M Global Services International; Miami, EEUU), FieldTurf, FieldTurf CoolPlay (Proveedor: Superficies de Centroamérica; San José, Costa Rica), Metaldeza Panamá, Metaldeza Panamá, S.A., Rolformados, Rolformados Ventus (Proveedor: Decoplastic; Panamá)
- Playing Field: 8,236 m2
- Architect In Charge: Nilson Ariel Espino
- Design Team: SUMA arquitectos y planificadores urbanos, Nilson Ariel Espino
- City: Panamá
- Country: Panama
Text description provided by the architects. The “Maracaná” is a football stadium built during the years 2013-2014 in the popular El Chorrillo neighborhood in Panama City, Panama. The structure replaced an old sports field, baptized by the locals with the name of the legendary Rio de Janeiro stadium. The new building has capacity for five thousand spectators, and is the end point of a recent phase of the linear park that winds along the city’s coastline. El Chorrillo has a longstanding football tradition, and currently has two professional teams in the first division league. The construction of the stadium was part of an effort to provide this dense, low-income neighborhood with more public space and with attractions of metropolitan appeal, in order to better integrate it to the rest of the city. The building is used by a variety of professional and amateur leagues.
The structure is composed by four straight segments of stands, covered with vaulted roofs, and four “cubes”, one on each corner. Access for the public is located under the stands in the eastern and western wings, while the lower levels of the north and south wings house the locker rooms and office spaces, respectively. The access wings include the general lobbies, commercial stalls, and VIP boxes. The public restrooms are located inside the cubes. The structure combines steel and reinforced concrete columns, and includes a roof structure of steel trusses and semi-structural metal sheet.
The eastern and western wings are built over artificial earth mounds, one level above the northern and southern wings. This solution creates different heights for the roofs of the paired sides of the structure, thus generating a welcome dynamism to an otherwise symmetrical building. Architectural movement is also provided by the curved fronts of the eastern and western facades, which contrast with the straight fronts of the north and south wings, and by the curved outer edges of the four roof segments.
The four concrete cubes are the only “solid” components of the exterior facades, and are painted blue or red, in alternating fashion. For their part, the central sections of each facade are clad with rectangular, perforated steel sheets. The color of each cube is “pixelated” towards the center of each façade, transitioning into white before picking up the color of the cube in the opposing corner.
The perforated sheets and the raised roofs lend the building an open, light, and translucent appearance. Between the stands and the roofs, great views are opened and framed towards the bay, the city, the bridge over the canal, and the famous Ancón Hill. At those times of the day when the sun is close to the horizon, a spectacular light effect created by the perforated sheets animates the access lobbies. At night, the interior stadium lights turn the east and west facades into huge lamps of textured light.