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Tokyo Olympic Stadium Design Scrapped as Officials Go With Cost-Effective Model

Image: Tokyo Olympic Stadium Design Scrapped as Officials Go With Cost-Effective Model
Kengo Kuma, an architect and the designer of a New National Stadium pose for pictures in front of a screen displaying the proposed new national stadium "Design A" during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, December 22, 2015. (Yuya Shino/Reuters)

By    |   Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 12:54 PM

The Tokyo Olympic stadium design has changed to a more cost-effective model after the local committee jettisoned the original concept by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

The new design chosen Tuesday was created by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and will cost $1.2 billion to build, saving about a billion dollars from the previous design, the BBC News reported. The news agency said if Japan would have proceeded with Hadid's "futuristic" design, it would have become the most expensive sports venue ever built.

Kuma's new design will resemble Japanese temple styles along with a low-lying steel and wood structure with trees incorporated.

"I think this is a wonderful plan that meets criteria such as basic principles, construction period and cost," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said of the choice, according to the BBC News.

The new design came after consulting athletes, professionals, and other stakeholders for five months, according to the Japan Times. The costs of Hadid's design, which was already expensive, began to snowball, creating a public outcry.

"To be honest, I feel a bit relieved now," Olympic minister Toshiaki Endo told reporters after a meeting Tuesday to finalize the selection. "At the same time, I expect the winning companies to build a new National Stadium that can win trust from the world and people in Japan by taking full advantage of Japanese technologies and finishing the construction on time."

Architect Toyo Ito and construction firms Takenaka Corp., Shimizu Corp., and Obayashi Corp. came in second place in the National Stadium construction bid, stated the Japan Times. Both architects said that they could build the stadium by November 2019, less than a year before the 2020 Summer Olympic Games.

"Design B (Ito) proposed an unprecedented method for construction (to shorten the building period) by using new materials to build the stadium, whereas design A proposed using a more orthodox method that is familiar to everyone . . . I believe the judges assessed design A as being less risky," architect and critic Takashi Moriyama said, according to the Japan Times.

A spokesman for Hadid told the newspaper last week that, by scrapping his designs, the new firm may not have the time complete the stadium.

"There are now serious risks of a rushed process, with no certainty on the likely construction cost of the stadium, and that it may not be ready in time or deliver a significant sporting legacy without expensive conversion after the 2020 Games," the spokesman said.

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The Tokyo Olympic stadium design has changed to a more cost-effective model after the local committee jettisoned the original concept by renowned architect Zaha Hadid.
tokyo, olympic, stadium, design, change
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2015-54-22
Tuesday, 22 Dec 2015 12:54 PM
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