Original Olympic stadium designer alleges collusion after new selection

Original Olympic stadium designer alleges collusion after new selection

Zaha Hadid, the architect whose design was selected for Japan’s new national stadium but scrapped over cost issues, fired a shot on Tuesday after the Japan Sports Council settled on a design by Japan’s Kengo Kuma.

“We were honored to be selected to design a stadium that would enable Japan to welcome the world for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and bring the 2020 Olympic Games to Tokyo, before becoming a new home for Japanese sport for many future generations,” Hadid said in a statement released by her firm.

By holding a second design competition, Rugby World Cup organizers have been forced to scramble for another venue to replace the national stadium as the center piece of the tournament.

In her statement, Hadid accused her Japanese rivals of colluding with Japanese officials to abandon her futuristic design.

“Sadly the Japanese authorities, with the support of some of those from our own profession in Japan, have colluded to close the doors on the project to the world,” she said.

“This shocking treatment of an international design and engineering team, as well as the respected Japanese design companies with whom we worked, was not about design or budget. In fact much of our two years of detailed design work and the cost savings we recommended have been validated by the remarkable similarities of our original detailed stadium layout and our seating bowl configuration with those of the design announced today.”

“Work would already be underway building the stadium if the original design team had simply been able to develop this original design, avoiding the increased costs of an 18-month delay and risk that it may not be ready in time for the 2020 Games.”

Indeed, when Kuma’s Plan A, to be built by a joint venture led by construction giant Taisei Corp, was named the winner, the chairman of the selection committee, Shuzo Murakami, said time had been a critical consideration.

“There was no concern over that plan not being finished quickly,” Murakami said. “However, with Plan B, the possibility of delays existed.”

 

Original Olympic stadium designer alleges collusion after new selection.

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