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Zaha in new bid to regain Tokyo Stadium job

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Zaha Hadid Architects is making a fresh bid to design the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo after its original proposals were dropped on cost grounds

Construction and architecture firm Nikken Sekkei today announced it had reappointed Zaha Hadid to its design and build team as it battles to win back the prized job.

Last week, Japan Sport Council launched a new design and build competition for the stadium, with a much shorter design and construction schedule.

Hadid’s earlier plan had been estimated to cost more than ¥250 billion, but the new project has been handed a smaller capped budget of ¥155 billion. It is understood the original contractor will not be working on the team’s contest bid.

Hadid said: ‘Our team in Japan and the UK have worked closely with Nikken Sekkei to develop a design for the New National Stadium for Japan that meets the Government’s core principles and it is an honour to be invited by Nikken Sekkei to progress the design together to the revised technical brief.’

A statement from Nikken Sekkei said its existing team has already developed a very comprehensive analysis of the unique characteristics of the stadium site, as planning for athletes, spectators and the stadium’s long-term management.

It said: ‘We believe the best way to respond to the new brief is to maximize the use of the expertise and experience gained by the design team over the past two years.

‘Zaha Hadid Architects and Nikken Sekkei are able to quickly develop a comprehensive, fully costed design and, in partnership with a committed construction contractor, the most cost-effective delivery plan that ensures the New National Stadium is ready in good time for the preparations ahead of Tokyo 2020.’

At the end of August, the practice said its original, dropped, design was ‘compact and efficient’ and ‘cannot be improved upon unless the capacity is altered and a more competitive bidding situation is created’.

In a short film released last month, the practice blamed the cost of the stadium on marketplace conditions and the price of materials and labour, rather than the design.


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