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Fresh contest planned for Tokyo Olympic Stadium

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Japan is planning to launch a second international competition for its centrepiece 2020 Olympic Games stadium

The high-profile search – expected to start later this year – comes almost three years after Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) won the original contest for the job.

Last month ZHA’s vision for the 80,000-seat venue was officially shelved, ending fierce speculation about the contentious scheme’s future just months before it was due to start on site.

Ballooning costs – which saw the arena almost double its original £674 million estimate – had previously been blamed on the design.

Shortly after the project’s termination however ZHA claimed the two-stage tender process had caused an ‘overly high estimate of the cost of construction’ and offers to revise the scheme had been ignored.

The stadium will not complete until March 2020

Any new design for the stadium will now start on site in late 2016 or early 2017 and will not complete until March 2020 – nearly a year later than original estimates and just three months before the starts of The Games.

Described as an ‘athletes’ first’ building, the latest proposal will be delivered as cheaply as possible although no cost limits or official estimates have been announced – according to The Guardian.

Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe said: ‘We should make a structure that will emotionally move people all over the world. Of course, keeping costs down is a priority and we must make the best, realistic plan we can.’

New guidelines for the building – backed by the International Olympic Committee – include featuring a smaller roof only covering the spectators and some temporary seating.

Abe also apologised for wasting taxpayers’ money after it emerged ZHA and other consultants had received around £32 million in fees relating to the abandoned scheme.

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