New and Greener design picked for 2020 Olympics stadium.
A proposal by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has been selected as the new design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics main stadium following the scrapping of the initial design by an Iraqi-British architect, the government announced Tuesday.
It said Kuma’s team has received the green light for its “Plan A” blueprint, which cites a total construction cost of 149 billion yen ($1.23 billion), far below the estimated 265.1 billion yen for the controversial scrapped design by Zaha Hadid.
The three-tier, 80,000-seat stadium will be built by a joint venture led by construction giant Taisei Corp., which won the bid to erect the facility.
In August, the Japanese government had put a 155 billion yen cap on the cost of the new Olympic stadium after abandoning Hadid’s plan amid an outcry over the estimated cost, which had nearly doubled from the initially projected 130 billion yen.
Kuma is planning to keep his budget under control and speed up project delivery with a simple construction method and work efficiency.
He said he had an athlete-first mindset when determining the location of the auxiliary track and locker rooms, stating he wanted to design a stadium that would last 100 years.
“I want to get opinions from athletes and others, and make this a stadium for everyone,” the 61-year-old Kuma said.
Kuma, who is currently a professor at the Graduate School of Architecture at the University of Tokyo, has won numerous international architectural awards. Among his major works in Japan are the Nezu Museum (Tokyo), Suntory Museum of Art (Tokyo) and LVMH Group Japan headquarters (Osaka).
“We feel very honored to have won priority negotiating rights for an extremely important national project,” a Taisei Corp. spokesperson said.
After a panel of seven Japan Sport Council members met Saturday for hearings with two bidders, they gave Kuma and his partners 610 points out of a perfect 980, while the other bidder — a three-way joint venture between Takenaka Corp., Shimizu Corp. and Obayashi Corp. — scored 602 points for “Plan B.”
Evaluation was based on nine categories associated with cost, construction period and execution plan.
Kuma’s proposal features a facility that is 5 meters lower in height than rival architect Toyoo Ito’s, with a plant-covered facade. It has been designed to maintain harmony with the natural landscape of the neighboring Meiji Jingu Gaien area.
According to Plan A, construction work is planned for completion by November 2019, two months earlier than the deadline given by the International Olympic Committee.
“Since the withdrawal (of Hadid’s design) in July, the panel has taken a leading role in the new development process,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The prime minister called the winning design a “wonderful proposal” that will “meet our demand for construction cost and schedule.”
Abe also voiced his hopes that the new facility would “leave a proud legacy for the next generation.”
Ito’s rejected design included walls formed by 72 Japanese-made wooden pillars spaced evenly around the stadium, with a construction cost estimated at 149.7 billion yen.
A meeting led by the education ministry will be held in January to discuss how the Olympic stadium will be used after the two-week competition.
The stadium designed by Kuma will be built in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward on the site of the previous National Stadium that served as the main venue for the 1964 Olympics, which has already been demolished. The Games’ opening ceremony will be held at the stadium on July 24, 2020.