japan drops zaha hadid's design for tokyo olympic stadium japan drops zaha hadid's design for tokyo olympic stadium
jul 17, 2015

japan drops zaha hadid's design for tokyo olympic stadium

 

japan’s prime minister shinzō abe has announced that controversial plans for the country’s new national stadium have been dropped. designed by iraqi-british architect zaha hadid, the project was initially approved in 2012 before facing criticism from a host of japanese architects. the stadium was originally set to host the 2019 rugby world cup in addition to serving as the centerpiece of the 2020 olympic games.

 

japan’s government has come under growing criticism as estimated costs rose to 252bn yen ($2bn USD, £1.3bn). as reported by the guardian, the scheme’s mounting expenses have seen the country’s prime minister speak out. we have decided to go back to the start on the tokyo olympics-paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero,’ shinzō abe told reporters. ‘I have been listening to the voices of the people for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review’.

 

in may 2014, a group led by architects toyo ito and fumihiko maki launched a petition, calling on local and national authorities to defend and protect the city’s meiji jingu gaien stadium and its neighboring gardens. later that year, arata isozaki referred to the design as ‘a dull, slow form, like a turtle waiting for japan to sink so that it can swim away’. work will now begin to find a new solution for the olympic site.

zaha hadid national olympic stadium tokyo 2020 design scrapped designboom
the original design, before its initial revision for the olympic stadium tokyo
(above) image © zaha hadid architects / minmud
(main) image © japan sport council

 

 

 

UPDATE: since prime minister abe told reporters that there would be a complete review of the project, zaha hadid architects has released a statement stressing that the reported cost increases were not due to the stadium’s design: ‘it is not the case that the recently reported cost increases are due to the design, which uses standard materials and techniques well within the capability of japanese contractors and meets the budget set by the japan sports council,’ explains the london-based firm. ‘the real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in tokyo and a fixed deadline.’

 

read the statement in full below:

 

our teams in japan and the UK have been working hard with the japan sports council to design a new national stadium that would be ready to host the rugby world cup in 2019, the tokyo 2020 games and meet the need for a new home for japanese sport for the next 50 to 100 years.

 

it is absolutely right that the benefits and costs of the new national stadium should be clearly and accurately communicated and understood by the public and decision-makers in japan and we hope that this is one of the objectives of the review announced by the prime minister.

 

we have used our experience on major sports and cultural projects, including the hugely successful london 2012 games and legacy, to design a stadium that can be built cost-effectively and still deliver the flexible and robust national stadium that the japan sports council requires.

 

it is not the case that the recently reported cost increases are due to the design, which uses standard materials and techniques well within the capability of japanese contractors and meets the budget set by the japan sports council. the real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in tokyo and a fixed deadline.’zaha hadid architects

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  • very well…

    kento says:
  • i applaud japan for thinking again. whether it is cost (design led or otherwise), racism / sexism against zaha from japanese architects, popular opinion on the form, the real issue is that too many starchitects are becoming purveyors of a kind of big mac architecture.

    every city has to have a zaha, a gehry, etc…but does this have to be so?

    in the quest for cities to make themselves stand out they are infact making themselves boringly similar…

    i would love to see a fresh young architecture firm have a go at this…of any nationality, race, sex or origin just to get us out of this rut of starchitects dropping their designs on cities like design bombs with no regards for the culture, tradition, or context of the city…

    rick deckard says:
  • rick deckard: very well put!

    Rara says:
  • Isn’t it about time for Zaha to ditch that Austrian racist parasite who verbally assault Shigeru Ban around the time they proposed the Olympic Stadium? It is the most insensitive thing a job captain can do for their office. The talented architect doesn’t need someone who talk a lot and can’t design at all.

    John Levine says:
  • He isn’t Austrian. the nephew of Oskar Dirlewanger

    Eliyahu Yedidu says:

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