Sunday20 August 2017

Protests pay off as Hadid alters Tokyo stadium

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Critics say Olympic proposal is too big and costly

Zaha Hadid Architects has admitted it has made changes to its design for the stadium that will be the centrepiece of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The firm has faced hostility in Japan with critics complaining that the proposed 80,000-seat stadium is too big, too costly and clashes with Tokyo’s urban planning.

At the weekend, 500 protestors marched around the existing National Stadium to demonstrate over plans to replace it with Hadid’s proposal while leading Japanese architects led by Fumihiko Maki have called for Hadid’s design to be scaled down and more sustainable.

But a spokesman for the practice said the the design had been “refined to optimise the investment and make the stadium even more efficient, user-focused, adaptable and sustainable”.

He added: “All projects around the world go through this process of design evolution and refinement and we are working closely with the client and our Japanese colleagues throughout the process.

“Lightweight, tensile fabric between the stadium’s structure significantly reduces the weight and materials of the roof, giving the stadium even greater flexibility as both an outdoor and indoor venue.”

The firm won the scheme back in November 2012 and the new stadium will host a variety of sports once the Olympics are over as well as conferences, concerts and exhibitions.

“The central location further increases the stadium’s accessibility for all Tokyo’s residents,” he added. “Its scale is a direct correlation to the project brief’s seating capacity of 80,000 to meet the client’s requirements for flexibility and capacity, enabling the greatest future use by Japan’s sporting, cultural, civic and community organisations. No construction works or redevelopment will be required for use after 2020.”

Last autumn, sports minister Hakubun Shimomura said the 80,000-seat venue, which will be used for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, would cost $3 billion – which was “too massive a budget”.



Readers' comments (3)

  • Andrew Jones

    How incredibly ungracious of the people of Tokyo.

    Why should cost, practicality, urban context, scale, sustainability, efficiency, planning constraints or flexibility have any influence on this creation of genius?

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  • I'm sure I have seen this somewhere else

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  • Seymour Alexander

    If Tokyo wanted something small, unobtrusive, reusable as a bus station afterwards why on earth did the select Hadid?

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