Bringing the World Cup Home

Homeless world cup legacy ctr

Talk about an impact. None of us could help hearing about the exciting World Cup these past weeks, but how many of us have heard of the Homeless World Cup? This creative charity addresses the problem of the one billion homeless people worldwide by sponsoring grassroots soccer projects in over 70 countries and affecting at least 30,000 homeless and excluded people each year.

How does this incredible story relate to design? (What doesn't?) Architecture for Humanity, Instituto Bola Pra Frente, and Nike are joining the Homeless World Cup to create a Homeless World Cup Legacy Center in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The project will break ground in late July. It is part of the women's division of the Homeless World Cup, and will serve as an outreach tool to empower homeless women.

The design for the center was chosen via an open competition, which launched in December 2009 to licensed architects and potential design fellows in Brazil. The project calls for a flexible design that incorporates a 72-ft. by 52-ft. secured Greenfield soccer field with surround stadium seating, as well as community areas, classrooms, a fitness center, offices, lockers, and child care facilities. Over 35 proposals were narrowed down to five finalists and five honorable mentions. The ultimate winners: Elizabeth Añaños and Daniel Feldman.

It's inspiring to see the great impact of the Homeless World Cup, and the effect that architecture and design are able to provide. Whether you were cheering for Spain or the Netherlands in the actual World Cup, good design is something we can all get behind.

— Lillian Civantos

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