The skyline of the north-eastern coastal city of Fortaleza is changing fast as the Estadio Castelao, one of the venues of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, continues to take shape.

The stadium’s workers have started erecting the 60 curving steel columns that will support its metal roof and help bind its concrete structure together, reducing vibrations. All the columns are expected to be in place by the end of April.

“The pieces come from Sao Paulo, where they’re being pre-manufactured,” said project contract manager Waldemar Biselli. “The columns are formed by two separate pieces and we’re putting them together on the site itself. They stand 42 metres high and weigh around 25 tons.”

The columns are made up of a curving steel tube and lattice structure and will support triangular sections measuring three metres high and 57 metres long. “The cantilever section of the roof will extend for nearly 60 metres and will be supported by nothing but metal struts,” added Biselli.

Made of carbon steel, the columns are coated in epoxy polyurethane paint to protect them from the salt in the sea air. “The aim was to bring the world’s latest technology to the Castelao and to make the venue part of the heritage of the city of Fortaleza, the state of Ceara and Brazil as a whole,” said Ferruccio Feitosa, Ceara’s chief FIFA World Cup officer.

All seating at the Castelao will be covered by the roof, which also contains a thick layer of insulating material to ensure spectator comfort and features transparent sections to allow more sunlight to reach the pitch.