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Olympic trade mission: UK stars descend on Rio

Foster + Partners and Amanda Levete Architects are visiting Rio de Janeiro in a bid to win work on the city’s Olympic mega project

The high profile studios have taken part in a UKTI-backed trade mission touting fast-track and low carbon construction systems to Brazilian companies.

Other architects on the visit which left yesterday included Avanti Architects, Haworth Tompkins and emerging outfit de Matos Ryan.

Trade mission attendees

  • Maximiliano Arrocet - AL_A 
  • Amir Ramezani - Avanti Architects 
  • Lara Kaiser - Avanti Architects 
  • Carolynne Shenton  - Avanti Architects 
  • Elizabeth Mullis - Brunel University 
  • Angus Morrogh-Ryan - De Matos Ryan 
  • José Esteves de Matos - De Matos Ryan 
  • Filomena Russo - Foster + Partners 
  • Matt Watts - Haworth Tompkins 
  • Mandeep Bajwa - Latchways 
  • Jorge Laico Regional - Mabey Bridge 
  • Craig Allison - Squint/Opera 

Led by housing minister Mark Prisk, the delegates are hoping to cash in on work on major infrastructure projects including the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

Prisk said: ‘Brazilian companies in these cities are actively looking for fast-track construction systems, innovative building materials and low carbon solutions to meet current and future demand, not only in preparation for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games but also to compete in the country’s many major infrastructure projects.

‘Brazil is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing economies with a rapidly growing middle class and a large, competitive, domestic market. Its long term economic growth and massive natural resources make Brazil a hugely important strategic partner for UK business.

‘The UK became the second-largest foreign investor in Brazil in 2011 and it is clear that our two countries have much to offer each other in terms of sustainable, built environment technologies and services.’

This visit will take place from Sunday 3 March to Thursday 7 March and also includes a visit to the city of Recife.

Senior figures from the 2016 Olympics Athletes’ Village procurement team; Rio’s State Works Secretariat; and Municipal Housing Secretariat will be at events attended on the trip.

UKTI estimates that the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and Rio Olympics two years later will create more than 12,000 infrastructure projects.

A team led by AECOM, working with architects Wilkinson Eyre and engineers Expedition, is masterplanning the 2016 Olympic Park (pictured) in Rio de Janeiro (see AJ 22.08.2011).

Last September, Norman Foster’s practice, which has designed a raft of redevelopment and masterplan schemes in the country, announced it was planning to open an office in São Paulo.

In the same month prime minister David Cameron announced British businesses had won £70 million worth of contracts for work on the city’s upcoming international sporting events.

The Brazilian government last year unveiled a £42 billion infrastructure investment package. It plans to spend the money on road and railway development, with the majority coming in the next five years.

The country also has a burgeoning, wealthy middle class – and has discovered oil.

AJ reported last summer that Brazil’s strong economy offered British architects plenty of scope for new sports, housing and leisure work.

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