By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

Japanese architects file petition against Zaha’s Tokyo Olympics stadium

Leading Japanese architects have filed a petition against Zaha Hadid’s proposed 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium, saying it is too big and too costly

Led by Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki, the 100-strong group claims the massive 290,000m² centrepiece arena would ‘spoil’ the surrounding Meiji Jingu Gaien area.

The architects have also demanded the government reduces the stadium’s size - which is 1.6 times bigger than the 55-year-old National Stadium it replaces - and shrink the proposed capacity from 80,000 seats to a mix of 50,000 permanent seats plus temporary seating.

According to local reports, the petition which was presented to the Education Ministry and Tokyo‘s metropolitan government last week, reads: ‘Given a total floor space double to triple the past main Olympics venues such as London and Athens, we are also concerned about its costs for safety, maintenance and management.’

It has also emerged in the Japanese media that the sports ministry is looking to dramatically cut the cost of the project from ¥300 billion to ¥180 billion ($1.8 billion dollars).

However responding to the rumours and criticism in the press Jim Heverin, the project director at Zaha Hadid Architects, told Kyodo News: ‘I don‘t think [the design] is something that you can decide by committee.

‘The articulation, how [the design] manifests itself, really needs to come from a single vision, otherwise there won‘t be authorship, there won‘t be an authentic voice behind it.’

Previous story (AJ 10.10.13)

Japanese architects slam Zaha’s Tokyo Olympics stadium scheme

Top Japanese architects have blasted the design of Zaha Hadid’s proposed National Stadium in Tokyo, claiming the centrepiece of the 2020 Olympics is too big.

Sou Fujimoto, the architect behind this year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, has joined Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki in opposing the competition-winning scheme (see below).

Maki has set up a ‘symposium’ of Japanese architects, including Toyo Ito, Hidenobu Jinnai, Shinji Miyadai and Tetsuo Furuichi to protest against the size and scale of the 290,000m² stadium.

Fujimoto said: ‘Maki is protesting against Zaha’s stadium on the basis of the programme being too big – the area of the project being too big.’

The Japanese architect added: ‘I hope that his protest is successful in shrinking the design to fit the context. I’m not fighting Zaha. The competition for the stadium was very rigorous and we can’t overturn everything. But the design could be better.’

The new stadium, which will dwarf Maki’s neighbouring 1990 Metropolitan Gymnasium, will replace an existing open-air stadium that was used for the 1964 Summer Olympic Games. 

Alastair Townsend, of Tokyo-based Bakoko, said: ‘One hopes that, as Zaha’s design is worked through in detail, the stadium’s interface with urban neighbourhoods and parkland on its periphery will be significantly softer. The current renderings don’t show a single tree on the site.’

Takefumi Kamio, of Tokyo-based studio DUCA, said the stadium’s passages and public areas were ‘too big and too artificial’. He added: ‘It covers too much ground. It feels as though it is bit too tight.’

But, like Fujimoto, Kamio said he was pleased Hadid had won the competition. He said: ‘I am not against Zaha’s project. I welcome the presence of Zaha’s stadium in Tokyo.’

The symposium Re-thinking the New National Olympic Stadium in historical background of Jingu-Gaien’ will be streamed live online on 11 October.

Zaha Hadid was unavailable for comment.

Tokyo's Metropolitan Gymnasium by Fumihiko Maki

Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gymnasium by Fumihiko Maki which will neighbour Hadid’s proposed new stadium

Previous story (AJ 15.11.2013)

Zaha Hadid wins Japan national stadium contest

Zaha Hadid Architects has seen off 10 global big hitters to win the contest to overhaul Japan’s national stadium

The practice, which designed the London 2012 Aquatics Centre, scooped the £164,000 first prize ahead of a raft of star names including Populous with Rod Sheard, UNStudio and Toyo Ito.

It is understood Australia’s Cox Architecture was handed second place and SANAA third spot.

Hadid, who was made a dame last week, will mastermind the overhaul of the national stadium in Tokyo which will be redeveloped to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and also, potentially, the Olympic Games in 2020. Tokyo is currently up against Madrid and Istanbul to host the greatest show on earth.

Japan’s 48,000-seat national stadium in Kasumigaoka, Tokyo was constructed in 1958 and hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics. The new stadium is expected to seat 80,000 spectators and is planned for completion in 2018.

WINNER: Zaha Hadid Architects

WINNER: Zaha Hadid Architects

The ten-strong competition jury featured Richard Rogers and Norman Foster and was chaired by 1995 Pritzker Prize winner Tadao Ando.

Explaining the jury’s decision Ando said: ‘[The winning scheme’s] dynamic and futuristic design embodies the messages Japan would like to convey to the rest of the world.’

An ‘honoured’ Hadid said: ‘Our three decades of research into Japanese architecture and urbanism is evident in our winning design and we greatly look forward to building the new National Stadium.

The perimeter of the stadium will be an inhabited bridge

‘[The arena] will become an integral element of Tokyo’s urban fabric, directly engaging with the surrounding cityscape to connect and carve the elegant forms of the design. The unique structure is both light and cohesive, defining a silhouette that integrates with the city. The perimeter of the stadium will be an inhabited bridge: a continuous exhibition space that creates an exciting new journey for visitors.’

Speaking about the victory Architecture Minister Ed Vaizey said: ‘This is great news, not only for Zaha Hadid and her team but for Britain’s design and architecture industry, once again showing our design talent is leading the way across the world.’

See the full 11-strong shortlist here

Subscribe to AJ for £3 per week

Subscribe today and receive 47 issues of the magazine, 12 issues of AJ Specification and full access to TheAJ.co.uk and the AJ Buildings Library

Are you a student?

Students can subscribe to the AJ for £8 per month or £1.60 per week! Click here to start receiving the most recommended magazine for architecture students

 

Readers' comments (2)

  • ‘The articulation, how [the design] manifests itself, really needs to come from a single vision, otherwise there won‘t be authorship, there won‘t be an authentic voice behind it.’

    Really?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Do we know how much bigger Zaha's design was than that of SANAA or Toyo Ito?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

Related Jobs

Sign in to see the latest jobs relevant to you!

  • Technician

    £24000.00 - £31000.00 per annum

  • Architect

    £28000.00 - £35000.00 per annum

  • Architect

    £27000.00 - £35000.00 per annum + DOE

The searchable digital buildings archive with drawings from more than 1,500 projects

AJ newsletters