The main stadium that will be the crowning glory of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is under intense scrutiny by various architects as it will affect the landscape of the city. One prominent Japanese architect believes it would be better if the approved spaceship/bike helmet-like stadium would be made smaller, as it would entail lesser expense and would be a better match to its surroundings.
Fumihiko Maki, the designer of the nearby 1990 Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, says it’s not the design by British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid that he’s criticizing, but rather the size of the stadium. Both the Tokyo and national governments have already approved the plans for the venue that will replace the current 54,000-seater stadium used for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, but the construction will start by next year. The 2020 stadium will seat 80,000 people and will have an arching retractable roof, all to the tune of 130 billion yen (approx. US$1.3 billion). But Maki, and apparently 100 other well-known architecture experts, believe that the design should be revised to make it “a more sustainable stadium for the Japanese people.” They are citing not just the construction and management costs as reasons to reduce the stadium’s size, but as well as its effect on the historical scenery and safety concerns in case of a natural disaster evacuation.
But Yoshitaka Takasaki, the spokesman for the Japan Sports Council, said that the design was part of the city planning and the central government approved it in June. Jim Heverin, a director at the firm that designed the stadium, added that the “futuristic” stadium will fit right in the area, with the mix of big and small structures. It can also be used for other events like concerts and festivals, so it will not be a waste of money. Greenery is also included in the design, so even if it will occupy more space, it will also make up for the environmental aspects.
[ via AP ]