Kengo Kuma has been chosen to design Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic stadium after Zaha Hadid Architects’ plans were scrapped earlier this year
The Japanese architect saw off competition from Toyo Ito in the relaunched contest.
Both Kuma and Ito were among a raft of high-profile Japanese architects who had previously led criticism of Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) estimated ¥250 billion design.
Kuma’s three-tier, 80,000-seat stadium is estimated to cost ¥149 billion.
The project has been mired in controversy ever since Hadid defeated a raft of international stars to win the job three years ago.
The scheme was scaled down and redesigned last summer after a petition – led by Ito, Kuma and Sou Fujimoto – received more than 32,000 signatures calling for the design to be scrapped.
Despite last summer’s alterations, Hadid’s contest-winning proposals were dropped in July due to escalating costs.
After the surprise announcement, ZHA criticised the client’s insistence on limiting the construction contract to a small number of Japanese firms, which it claimed had pushed prices up.
In a lengthy statement intended to ’set the record straight’, ZHA also said it had not been ‘permitted to work with the construction contractors’ to reduce the budget.
A second contest was launched in September and ZHA initially teamed up with construction and architecture firm Nikken Sekkei to participate. Just days later, however, the pair withdrew, announcing they had failed to secure a construction company to bid with.
Under the new plans, the stadium is set to complete in November 2019.