New anti-stadium petition mounts pressure on Zaha
A second petition against Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) competition winning Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Stadium has been launched
The latest online protest, which at the time of writing had 398 signatures, is backed by veteran Japanese architect Edward Suzuki, founder of Tokyo-based Edward Suzuki Associates.
Suzuki’s petition is effectively an English translation of an existing petition by Japanese heavyweights and Pritzker Prize winners Fumihiko Maki and Toyo Ito which has already garnered more than 15,000 signatories (AJ 10.10.13).
Both petitions claim that ZHA’s design for the 80,000-seat stadium are ‘oversized’ and will have a negative impact on the area’s historic gardens.
They demand that the government ditch the scheme and instead upgrade the existing national stadium – the Meiji Jingo Gaien Stadium and its gardens – which will be demolished to make way for the Zaha scheme.
‘Generally I like Zaha’s designs,’ said Suzuki. ‘And I believe she has made a statement in architectural history.
‘The problem with the new Olympic stadium is really not her fault, but whoever made the design program for it, namely the Japanese government, the JOC [Japanese Olympic Committee], and the JSC.
‘If it were not in the context for which it was designed but, say in the more spacious Odaiba waterfront district, it could have been a worthwhile project to realize. But no way in the Meiji Shrine Outer Gardens! There, it is an unforgivable sin!
‘My campaign is basically to help the large organisation, ‘ said Suzuki. ‘In the end, we are one. I only wanted to help the original petition by creating an English version.
‘Hardly anyone from the respective government agencies or the media were listening to our plea,’ he added.
Zaha Hadid Architects declined to comment.