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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The New 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Five months after choosing an Olympics stadium design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and scrapping it afterwards as being too costly, or not aesthetically-pleasing to the surrounding area or not aesthetically-pleasing because it looked like a giant turtle or not aesthetically-pleasing because it was designed by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, Japan thinks it finally has it right.

The new stadium (see image above) was designed by Japanese architect Kuma Kenga (surname first) and will be built by Taisei Corporation.

During the decision-making, the winning design was known as Proposal A and is considered to be a more traditional-looking design that narrowly beat a bolder, more modern design from Ito Toyo (surname first).
Ito Toyo's failed bid for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium design.
This winning design by Kumai will cost ¥149 billion (US $1,237,837,397.98)- and note that the stadium budget was set at ¥155 billion (US$1,287,679,385.89). So they did save $50-million bucks.

The stadium is supposed to be 49.2 meters (161.1-feet) high or maybe 50 meters (164-feet) - I have heard both numbers... Go with the first, since it doesn't seem rounded up by western media.

The field is below the main surface? It's Japan... they'll make it earthquake-tolerable... right? It's not mentioned, but new Tokyo buildings have to be resistant to earthquakes - to a certain degree.

The new stadium is a combined steel and wood structure with a relatively flat roof with shrubbery (I always like a nice shrubbery) along its outer concourses, and will have the main athletic area sunk below the surface.

Viva la taco! Hey Japan - where's the beef?
The stadium, I am told, seems to be similar to traditional Japanese temple designs, but I don't really see it. Although located near the Jingu Shrine, by using visible wood in the design, along with the hybridization of metal, it was bee-ess-ed that the stadium is an expression of "Japanese harmony".


Like with the stadium design snafu (situation-normal-all-fugged-up) or the 2020 Olympic logo being stolen from a previous existing design and then, after being sold and used, had to be scrapped under much embarrassment?

Now... since I am from the west, when it comes to our stadia, we like to have lots of parking in the design only to discover afterwards that though there may be parking lots, just not many.

From looking at the image at the very top, you'll notice that no parking was designed into the complex... well, for those of you who have ever walked around in Tokyo, land for parking is near non-existent... which is okay, because Tokyo is one of those global cities that has a fantastic subway system made up of some nine train lines and 179 stations and covers 195.1 kilometers.

People will be able to get there.

So... after 2020... what will the stadium be used for? Same thing the 1964 Olympic stadium was used for until it was torn down last year. Track and field events, soccer matches, and hopefully Monster Truck Jams.I saw one - bring ear plugs - and it was one of the most entertaining afternoons I have ever had with my clothes on.

If you want to read more about the old stadium design and Japanese aesthetics, click HERE. Same if you want to read about plagarism and the Olympic logo bugger up - HERE.

Somewhere preferring a burrito over a taco,
Andrew Joseph

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