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Japan scaling down planned main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after experts protest

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TOKYO — Japan is scaling down the planned main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following an uproar from some prominent architects who think it’s too big and expensive.

Hakubun Shimomura, the minister in charge of education, sports and science, told Parliament Wednesday the stadium designed by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid would cost 300 billion yen ($3 billion), and that was “too massive a budget.”

The 80,000-seat, futuristic-looking stadium has been billed as costing 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion). The minister’s updated estimate includes surrounding construction and infrastructure costs.

“We need to rethink this to scale it down,” he said in response to a question from a ruling party lawmaker. “Urban planning must meet people’s needs.”

The plans for the stadium were approved earlier this year by the city and central governments. Shimomura’s remarks signal a policy change.

He did not give specifics on how construction will be trimmed, but he stressed that the design concept will be kept.

He also said the new stadium will still have all the basic features needed to host the Olympics. It is replacing the smaller 54,000-seat main stadium that was used for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, a recipient of the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, recently criticized the new stadium’s size and urged that it be reworked to “a more sustainable stadium.”

About 100 experts, including other architects, support his view and question whether the new stadium is environmentally responsible and practical.

The site sits in the middle of a downtown Tokyo park within walking distance of shopping malls, high-rise buildings, a Shinto shrine and a famous venue designed by Kenzo Tange for the 1964 Olympics.

Zaha Hadid Architects office has said the venue is flexible and can be used for events beyond the Olympics, such as concerts. But it has expressed willingness to talk about design changes.

Construction is scheduled to begin next year.

AP

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/japan-scaling-down-planned-main-stadium-for-the-2020-tokyo-olympics-after-experts-protest/2013/10/24/3306bc88-3c6f-11e3-b0e7-716179a2c2c7_story.html

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They should've picked that 'green' stadium with a garden on the roof. Something that I would imagine Tokyo really needs is green space.

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Her stuff always looks like some rejected airport design.

Now, maybe some airport will pick up her rejected stadium design. :lol:

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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They should've picked that 'green' stadium with a garden on the roof. Something that I would imagine Tokyo really needs is green space.

You mean Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane/Architect&A+Architecture 's work? That was so terrible.In Japanese major board it was called as "Kofun",which means ancient grave of Emperor.

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You mean Dorell.Ghotmeh.Tane/Architect&A+Architecture 's work? That was so terrible.In Japanese major board it was called as "Kofun",which means ancient grave of Emperor.

the kofun :lol:

finalist_work_6_img.jpg

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the kofun :lol:

finalist_work_6_img.jpg

It's called A Hole in the Ground. Environmentally not good. It would be providing new home/breeding grounds for the fairies and goblins of the woods and woody glens; who will molest the unsuspecting female spectators and thus screw up the whole competition! ;)

Both HORRIBLE, uninspired designs. Look at the Palais Omnisport in Paris. I find using something green as EXTREMELY lazy and cheap ...like they didn't want to pay even some mediocre architect to design some fancy walls or some sort of texture.

pt51959.jpg

Thank God, I have no interest whatsoever in how a Tokyo 2020 will fare.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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Convenient that they waited until after the IOC vote to have these conversations.

Well, exactly. Where was the uproar when the original design was picked from the shortlist a few years ago, when it was originally settled upon for the stadium for the 2019 Rugby WC?

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Well, exactly. Where was the uproar when the original design was picked from the shortlist a few years ago, when it was originally settled upon for the stadium for the 2019 Rugby WC?

Which only goes to prove that it's kosher to submit the MOST bombastic renderings during the bid phase to get the votes...and then scale them down once the reality of actually building it sets in. In other words, there must be some 'showmanship' in the presentations. It's something that, of all people the US teams, have not yet learned. ;)

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Which only goes to prove that it's kosher to submit the MOST bombastic renderings during the bid phase to get the votes...and then scale them down once the reality of actually building it sets in. In other words, there must be some 'showmanship' in the presentations. It's something that, of all people the US teams, have not yet learned. ;)

But this wasn't even a bid-phase concept. It had already been approved for 2019, whether Tokyo won 2020 or not it was going ahead with that design. Where was the uproar two years ago when Hadid's design was first chosen.

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Is this all about showing off at China? They thought that the only way to beat the Bird's Nest was to get Hadid, so they did, without thinking about where the stadium is going.

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Is this all about showing off at China? They thought that the only way to beat the Bird's Nest was to get Hadid, so they did, without thinking about where the stadium is going.

I don't think so. For example,Nagano 98's legacy is said not successful.I don't prefer very huge stadium or plan. ;)

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Convenient that they waited until after the IOC vote to have these conversations.

Well, the instigators of this change, in this case the group of architects and others, did wait until after the vote. You don't need to make that implication by saying the timing is 'convenient'. It was obviously deliberate.

And that's understandable I think. Why would a group of prominent Japanese architects rock the boat when Japan was still bidding? There's plenty of time now for details to be worked out. Whether it's entirely fair on Istanbul and Madrid is another question, but I don't think you can blame this group for waiting!

Is this all about showing off at China? They thought that the only way to beat the Bird's Nest was to get Hadid, so they did, without thinking about where the stadium is going.

Who knows, there might be elements of oneupmanship. But all the proposals look huge, so perhaps there were problems in the tender documents that would've manifested themselves whichever of the stadium proposals won.

Edited by RobH

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And that's understandable I think. Why would a group of prominent Japanese architects rock the boat when Japan was still bidding? There's plenty of time now for details to be worked out. Whether it's entirely fair on Istanbul and Madrid is another question, but I don't think you can blame this group for waiting!

Agreed. It's a domestic group that wielded sway and were beholden to no one in terms of a speaking-out schedule. London too, after all, changed designs (for the better) with their centerpiece venue. Also, for all one knows, how many fans does Hadid have within the IOC for that rendering to have been a factor in the September vote? Even if Tokyo presented their old stadium unaltered, but expanded, they still would've won. (As a matter of fact, if I were on the IOC, I would've voted AGAINST Tokyo precisely because of that offensive, overly monumental Hadid design. ;) )

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Olympics: British firm defends design of new national stadium
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LONDON (Kyodo) -- Tokyo's National Stadium lies in a relatively quiet part of a city known more for bright neon lights and bustling streets than peaceful parks.

Surrounded by the serene green space of the Meiji Jingu Shrine's outer precinct and flanked by the Shinjuku Gyoen garden just down the road, this venerable stadium first opened in 1958 and has seen its fair share of memorable sporting moments, in particular the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Now the stadium is beginning preparations for its second Olympics, yet its appearance will be vastly different from the 1964 Games. Ahead of the 2020 Olympics and the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the national stadium is set to receive an expensive and increasingly controversial makeover, led by British architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects.

The combination of debate, controversy and politics is nothing new to the British architecture firm, who designed the widely acclaimed Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics against a similar backdrop of shifting political interests and budgetary worries.

Jim Heverin, Zaha Hadid Architects project director for the Tokyo National Stadium, believes that the concept for the new national stadium is right and thinks the new-look stadium can be incorporated into the existing park, despite concerns the area's quiet atmosphere will be disturbed by the stadium's size and futuristic design.

Heverin feels the design, which includes an elevated walkway circling the entire stadium, will actually help people to come into closer contact with the stadium on an everyday basis and reinvent the public spaces in the area.

"We've tried to continue the park through the stadium as a walk", he explained. "At the moment you can't walk across the site but this walkway and the concourse will allow you to walk through the site and run through the stadium and this way it will become, hopefully, part of the park."

Heverin also warned against the dangers of multiple parties influencing the design and feels the futuristic look is largely in keeping with Japan's history of innovative architecture.

"I don't think (the design) is something that you can decide by committee" Heverin said. "The articulation, how (the design) manifests itself, really needs to come from a single vision, otherwise there won't be authorship, there won't be an authentic voice behind it. You get that in all good buildings, all good pieces of design."

He added, "What we see in Japan is both innovation and craftsmanship. Both together is what people have always liked about Japan."

The size and cost of the stadium have also come under increasing scrutiny. Olympics minister Hakubun Shimomura recently stated that the projected cost of the stadium could rise up to 300 billion yen, and raised the possibility of reducing costs through downsizing projected facilities surrounding the stadium.

A group of Japanese architects -- including the world renowned Fumihiko Maki -- has also stated their intention to send a letter to the ministry in charge of organizing the Olympics, requesting the design be rethought due to the incongruity of building such a large facility in a relatively peaceful part of Tokyo. They are also requesting greater transparency in the processes used to decide the plans for the stadium.

Heverin welcomes the debate and acknowledges the right of the architects to speak out given that they have "lived their whole lives" in Tokyo. Nevertheless, he feels that the size of the stadium is "unavoidable" given the requirement that the venue must hold 80,000 people.

"The actual scale of it, you have to go up a certain height to get over 80,000 seats," Heverin explained. "The water table on this site is quite high so it means you cannot dig and put the field of play and the seats into the ground very much because you are in water."

Heverin also warned of the dangers of aggressive cost-cutting, particularly the prospect of limiting the functionality of the stadium in return for a short-term reduction in costs.

"When you've done all that you can, in terms of making the design as efficient as possible, you can still reduce costs by losing functionality," he said.

"But that's always a difficult debate with the client, because if you give up functionality for a short-term reduction in your capital costs, over the lifespan of the building which might be 50, 100 years, you have reduced your ability to earn back your original capital costs. We've seen that constantly in other projects, it's a very difficult conversation."

Ultimately, Heverin believes people's perception of the stadium will be defined by how they experience the building and hopes they can succeed in creating a stadium people can enjoy and use every day.

As was the case with London's Aquatics Centre, Heverin highlighted the importance of legacy in the design, and was keen to express his hope that the new stadium will have a long-term impact that extends far beyond the 2020 games.

"The most important thing is how it feels for the people", he explained. "That it's not some object that just dominates in the background."

"I think if we succeed in the fact that its open and it has this continuity, then I really think that this will be seen as a vibrant addition to the area. You have a real potential for all of this to act as a more active sports hub area."

Kyodo

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20131105p2g00m0sp034000c.html

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Tokyo to keep to Olympic plans despite costs

TOKYO (AP) Japanese Olympic officials are adhering to plans laid out in their successful bid to host the 2020 Games despite criticism that costs for the main stadium are too high.

Speaking after a two-day orientation seminar with the International Olympic Committee, Japanese Olympic Committee president Tsunekazu Takeda said Friday that plans to build an 80,000-seat stadium are still in place.

Japan is scaling down the cost of the planned main stadium following an uproar from some prominent architects who think it's too big and expensive, but Takeda said that doesn't mean a smaller facility.

"We are aware of the concerns," Takeda said. "But nothing has been decided yet and we still plan to have an 80,000-seat stadium."

The original budget for the stadium, designed by award-winning British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, was 300 billion yen ($3 billion) but Japan's government has said the cost will be scaled down to 130 billion yen ($1.3 billion).

The plans for the stadium were approved earlier this year by the city and central governments. Japanese government officials have not given specifics on how construction will be trimmed, but have said that the design concept, which includes a retractable roof, will be kept.

...

AP

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11158095

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When Turner Field is dismantled, its remnants should just be shipped to Tokyo and they can add a Torii gate and some Japanese elements to it. That'd be cheap and simple.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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Was chatting to a friend of mine from Tokyo the other day about the 2020 Olympics, and apparently there is a substantial groundswell within the city to reconsider the Hadid design - which pleased me to hear! It is extremely unpopular with locals.

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