A shakeup in the stadium design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has occurred after organizers scrapped Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid’s “bike helmet” design. The project was projected to cost 150 billion yen ($2.02 billion).
Prime Minister Shinzo said the scrapping of the Zaha Hadid design meant the stadium would not be ready in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. But wait! He did add that he was “certain” that the project would be ready in time for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics.
A spokesman for Zaha Hadid Architects blamed increases in construction costs in Tokyo and the difficulty of meeting a fixed deadline for the stadium’s expanding price tag.
The two stadium plans are expected to cost around 154 billion yen (that’s $1.26 billion) and will accommodate 80,000 people (imagine some Airbus A380’s in the parking lot).
The steel and wood Design A resembles traditional Japanese temples, and stands at a relatively short 50 meters (164 feet – not bad) with its main sports circuit field sunken under the ground.
By comparison, Design B is taller, using more glass. It is intended to reflect traditional Asian court concepts of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, wood and water.
Whichever plan is eventually chosen, construction is due to be completed on the stadium by November 30, 2019 – just 266 days before the Olympics Opening Ceremony.