By Tom Degun

Rio_2016_olympic_park_22-08-11August 22 - British firm AECOM has won the international competition to design the masterplan for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park, picking up the $62,000 (£38,000/€43,000) prize money.

The London-based building design and management company was named as the winner at a special ceremony in Rio on the site of where the Olympic Park will be located, as a high profile delegation, which included Rio 2016 President Carlos Nuzman, Mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes and Brazil's Sports Minister Orlando Silva, looked on.

The competition brought together 60 entries from firms in 18 countries, with a final decision made by a panel that consisted of seven representatives from Rio City Hall, the International Union of Architects, Brazil's Architects Institute, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee and the Federal Government.

The announcement means that AECOM will be working on their second successive Olympic Park masterplan after the firm designed the masterplan for the London 2012 Olympic Park.

"We are delighted and honoured to win this appointment and have the opportunity to work on Rio 2016," said AECOM's managing director for the UK and Ireland Bill Hanway.

"This is a fantastic city in a fantastic country and we know the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016 will be a tremendous success."

The masterplan outlines how the Olympic Park area will be used, as well as where the public spaces, squares and parks will be located.

It also outlines the location of the permanent and temporary venues and the future real estate developments to be built at the site.

Detailed planning will now be carried out over the next months by AECOM in conjunction with the parties involved in the park construction.

"This is yet another step taken towards building the Rio 2016 Games legacy," said Nuzman.

"The Olympic Park legacy for Brazilian sports will be a training centre modelled after the successful experiences of the world's greatest sporting powers."

Design projects for each one of the temporary and permanent sporting venues to be built in the Park will be chosen through subsequent competitions while there will be a separate competition to design the new golf course to be built in the city for the Olympic Games when the sport make its debut at the event.

The new permanent sports facilities will be built around the existing ones, including the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre (pictured), the Olympic Velodrome and the Olympic Arena, which held the 2007 Pan American Games and will form South America's first Olympic Training Centre after the 2016 Games.

"The city is doing very well in the preparation for the Olympic Games as this contest proves," said Paes.

"Our concern is with the legacy that we will leave for the city.

"The Olympic Park will be a central facility of the Games, focusing on different sports.

"One of the aims of this competition was to think about how to occupy this area so that it will be possible to attract private funds for works that would be paid with public funds."

As with their work on the London 2012 Olympic Park, the AECOM project for Rio outlines the Olympic Park's Games-time operation and long-term usage with a key focus on the transition from Olympic Games mode to legacy mode.

The Rio 2016 Olympic Park itself will have an area of 1,180,000 square metres and host competitions for the 10 Olympic sports of basketball, judo, taekwondo, wrestling, handball, hockey, tennis, cycling, aquatics and gymnastics.

It will also host the 11 Paralympic disciplines of wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, boccia, judo, sitting volleyball, goalball, five-a-side football, seven-a-side football, wheelchair tennis, cycling and swimming.

In addition, the Main Press Centre (MPC) and the International Broadcasting Centre (IBC) will also be built at the site with some 20,000 accredited journalists expected to attend the event.

"We wanted to bring the experience acquired in London, where it was also important to plan the Park's Games-time operation and long term usage, as well as the transition between these two moments," said Adam Williams, AECOM's associate director.

Over three million tickets will be on sale for the competitions to be held at the park, which is expected to host around 200,000 spectators per day while after the Games, the sports venues and new developments will form a reference for the city in terms of urban planning and sustainability.

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April 2011: Rio 2016 begin search for master planners for Olympic Park