Tokyo selects Japanese design for 2020 Olympic stadium after cost row

 22 Dec 2015 - 8:58

Tokyo selects Japanese design for 2020 Olympic stadium after cost row
An artist's impression of the chosen design by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma for the new National Stadium in Tokyo. AFP

 

Tokyo: Japan on Tuesday chose a new 2020 Olympic Stadium design, after an earlier version set off a row over a $2.0 billion price tag that would have made it the world's most expensive sports venue.

"I think this is a wonderful plan that meets criteria such as basic principles, construction period and cost," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a special cabinet meeting on the design submitted by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

Two construction plans -- Kuma's and a separate one by another Japanese architect -- released last week by the Japan Sports Council, which is overseeing the project, showed that the cost would be either approximately 149.0 billion yen ($1.2 billion) or 149.7 billion yen, respectively.

Both were far below the 265 billion yen estimated under the now-ditched design by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. Besides cost, her plan also drew complaints over its design.

Under the new plan construction is to be completed in November 2019, well before the January 2020 deadline demanded by the International Olympic Committee. 

AFP