TOKYO —A proposal by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma has been picked as the new design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics main stadium, a government panel announced Tuesday.
The panel said Kuma’s team has received the green light for its Plan A blueprint, which cites a total construction cost of 149 billion yen, far beneath the estimated 265.1 billion yen for the controversial scrapped plan by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
It will be built by a joint venture led by construction giant Taisei Corp, which won the bid to erect the facility, the panel said.
After the panel of seven Japan Sport Council members met Saturday for hearing sessions with both bidders, they gave the 61-year-old Kuma and his partners 610 points out of a perfect 980, while the other bidder—a three-way joint venture between Takenaka Corp, Shimizu Corp and Obayashi Corp—scored 602 points for Plan B.
Kuma’s proposal features a facility that is 5 meters lower in height than his rival architect Toyoo Ito’s, with a plant-covered facade. It has been carefully designed to maintain harmony with the natural landscape of the neighboring Meiji Jingu Gaien area.
According to Plan A, construction works are planned for completion by November 2019, two months earlier than the deadline given by the IOC.
“Since the withdrawal (of the initial design by Hadid) in July, the panel has taken a leading role in the new development process,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said.
The prime minister called the winning design a “wonderful proposal” that will “meet our demand for construction cost and schedule.”
Abe also voiced his hopes that the new facility would “leave a proud legacy for the next generation.”
Ito’s rejected design included walls formed by 72 Japan-made wooden pillars spaced evenly around the stadium, with a construction cost estimated at 149.7 billion yen.
The government had abandoned Hadid’s stadium plan amid a public outcry over the estimated cost, which had nearly doubled from the initially projected 130 billion yen.
Kuma’s design picked for 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium.