The expressive steel-glass roof to the atrium was implemented in the form of a gigantic wave „Carioca Wave” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, by façade construction specialist seele.


free-form glazed shell structure

carioca wave

As the venue for the FIFA World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympic Games in 2016 the region of Rio de Janeiro was booming in the years preceding these events. The upmarket district Barra da Tijuca in particular is experiencing growth, with the biggest shopping centres in Latin America currently under construction here. The existing luxury home furnishings centre “CasaShopping” was also extended and with its new four-storey building, which is planned around a large inner court, it faces on to the Tijuca Lagune promenade.

  • Parking spaces on the two lower levels are reached via a large atrium in the middle of the inner court.

    The roof to the atrium is in the form of an impressive, eye-catching, steel-and-glass sculpture. Inspired by the nearby Atlantic Ocean, architect Nir Sivan has created a wave – the Carioca Wave.

    As one of the first free-form roofs of this kind in South America, the Carioca Wave rises out of a pool on the ground level, arches over the atrium and finishes in the lower shopping level. This three-dimensional curved sculpture measures 50m long, 25m wide and 15m high. Its individual geometry places high demands on design and construction. Therefore, seele developed a gridshell structure of steel hollow sections in various lengths. The nodes presented a particular challenge. It is the nodes that create the complex geometry and therefore have to be fabricated with their angles exactly right. The roof is made up of a total of 503 triangular panes of heat-strengthened glass in different sizes attached with omega clamps and point fixings. The high accuracy of seele’s production facilities combined with international team spirit have resulted in a unique structure.

    Project images: © Marcio Irala


Client Marcon Ernpreendimentos Imobiliarios S/A
Architect Nir Sivan
Engineer Knippers Helbig GmbH
Date of completion 2013
Scope of seele supply
  • Design, fabrication and erection of approx. 1,130sqm roof as free-form steel glass structure
  • 110t gridshell structure with triangular layout and highly accurate, milled nodes
  • 503 triangular panes of heat-strengthened glass