Natal is the only host city without a bidding process for the stadium. How has this influenced the project?
First of all, the bidding process will be launched very soon. Next, I have worked in many different countries, and things are not that different in Brazil. Indeed, each location has its peculiarities. I have recently finished an assignment in New Delhi, India, and this is a place where we really had to face bureaucracy of mammoth proportions.
But doesn’t the delay cause an increase in costs, or reworking?
Of course schedules are important. However, it is also easy for one to underestimate the huge task that our client is carrying out in Natal, and not only in the construction of the stadium. Here we are talking about airports, hotels and infrastructure in general. Looking from afar, one may think that things are going slowly, but the quantity of work involved is enormous.
In London, the Olympic Stadium will be ready six months in advance, which creates a reference point for other projects.
It is fantastic, and also uncommon, that the Olympic Stadium is six months ahead of schedule, considering a total schedule of two and a half years. In London, we had an excellent subcontractor and we also knew our team very well. It was with this team that we constructed the Emirates Stadium, in London. WE had an excellent working system, which made things that much easier.
Did you come to Brazil, say, eyeing the arenas for 2016?
We set up an office in Rio de Janeiro which, at the moment, has only one person working. We hope that our Rio de Janeiro operation may expand with the Olympic Games approaching. Populous has participated in nine Olympic Games. We are deeply involved with London, having prepared the master plan and also the most important stadium, among others. We are very interested in transferring our knowledge And yes, indeed, we are meeting the right people in the committees to see how we can help.