The Populous architect team has completed construction of the World Cup Arena in Natal ahead of schedule and 3 percent below budget. Brazil’s president Dilma Rouseff officially inaugurated the “Arena das Dunas” and congratulated the design team for their successful completion of the structure. The multipurpose arena, called “The Stadium of the Dunes”, will be used as a venue for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The Arena das Dunas located within a park setting can accommodate 42,000 spectators. Its unique façade and roof are made up of 20 petal shaped modules inspired by moving dunes. The form responds to Natal’s climatic conditions and utilizes prevailing on shore breezes and air flow via ETFE louvers between the modules. A continuous undulating concourse connects the ‘petals’ and contributes to the overall asymmetric look of the structure.

The steel trusses are covered with aluminium tiles on the outside and PVC pre-stressed membrane inside. Translucent polycarbonate connects the joints and allows natural lighting to penetrate the interior. In addition to several sustainable features, the building boasts a rainwater harvesting mechanism with a capacity of 3,000 cubic meters.

The stadium has already hosted events-the first a match between two of Rio Grand do Norte’s main soccer teams on 26 January, 2014. The venue will officially open on 12 June, 2014.

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