Zaha Hadid’s controversial plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo have been scrapped.
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has announced that the design of the stadium will be started again from scratch due to spiralling costs, according to the Guardian.
“We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero,” Abe told reporters. “I have been listening to the voices of the people for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review.”
Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) also released a statement confirming the news that the plans are being reviewed:
“Our teams in Japan and the UK have been working hard with the Japan Sports Council to design a new National Stadium that would be ready to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Tokyo 2020 Games and meet the need for a new home for Japanese sport for the next 50 to 100 years.”
“It is absolutely right that the benefits and costs of the new National Stadium should be clearly and accurately communicated and understood by the public and decision-makers in Japan and we hope that this is one of the objectives of the review announced by the prime minister.”
The estimated cost of the London-based firm’s Japan National Stadium rose to £1.3 billion last year.
“The construction cost had been greatly inflated and there were criticisms from the public including the athletes on the plan,” said Abe. “This made me believe that we’ll not be able to host a game that everyone in this country will celebrate.”
“It is not the case that the recently reported cost increases are due to the design, which uses standard materials and techniques well within the capability of Japanese contractors and meets the budget set by the Japan Sports Council,” said ZHA’s statement.
“The real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in Tokyo and a fixed deadline.”
The design has received heavy criticism from high-profile Japanese architects including Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma and Fumihiko Maki, who launched a petition for the project to be scrapped due to its scale.
Hadid hit back at the criticism in an interview with Dezeen in December, describing the architects as “hypocrites” and the situation as “embarrassing” for them.