Surprise? Of all the 11 bids Japan Sport Council chose the one from Hadid, who has no experience in football stadium design. All indications say that after this venue gets done, she will have quite some! She just won one of the most prestigious competitions worldwide.
The Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid is cherished as an architect, almost celebrity in her field. She has Pritzker and Stirling prizes in her dossier, but to date no football stadium. Only major sports venue is the 2012 London Aquatics Centre, an impressive, but unfortunate project due to almost 400% cost overrun.
This makes Japan Sport Council’s choice slightly controversial as global giants in stadium design – like Populous and GMP – were among the 10 rejected final bids. All of them you may see in our presentation of the final shortlist from early November.
No matter the controversy, Hadid is sure to show quite significant experience when her newest concept gets done in 2018 as this will be perhaps the most advanced sports venue ever. It will be the very first one to have both retractable roof and retractable lowest tier of seating. All that together with at least 80,000 capacity and stunning architecture is supposed to put Tokyo in central spot for major sports events. In 2019 Rugby World Cup will take place here. In 2020 the Olympic (should Tokyo win final stage of bidding against Madrid and Istanbul) and afterwards football World Cup is also planned, not mentioning all domestic finals…
The new stadium will replace the current Kokuritsu Kyōgijō exactly when 60 years pass from its first opening. Back in 1958 this was the very first stadium in Asia to host the Olympics. The new one is supposed to put Tokyo again on the map.