After weeks of standing down to criticism that the 2020 Olympics stadium set to be built in Tokyo needs to be scaled down, the Japan Sports Council (JSC) announced on Tuesday that they will be reducing the size by one-quarter to just 220,000 square meters. The stadium that was designed by London-based Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid had been receiving a barrage of complaints from architects, environmentalists and residents.
The announcement that the stadium will be reduced will also cut on the construction costs by 180 billion yen ($1.8 billion), a far cry from the original 300 billion yen for the bigger venue, but these are just estimates from Japanese media. There has been no official word yet on how much will be the revised cost estimate. The JSC official however emphasized that they will still be using the Hadid design and that the height estimate, which is currently at 70 meters. The JSC also said that the reduced size will still meet the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, which includes seating for 80,000 people, a retractable roof and movable seats that can be adjusted to different sporting events.
JSC president Ichiro Kono said they made the decision after taking into consideration the criticisms of architects like Fumihiko Maki and other high-profile personalities. Maki is one of the designers for the new towers in the World Trade Center in New York. One of the main points of argument over the proposed stadium is that with its height, it will tower over all the other structures in the area because they are limited to 15-meters only. But if as the JSC said the height will remain the same, it will still make the structure visible all over the west of Tokyo. The stadium will be replacing the current 54,000-seat national stadium which was the centerpiece of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
[ via France 24 ]