Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced architect Kengo Kuma as the winner of a second design competition for the new Tokyo Olympic Stadium.
Kuma’s design, dubbed the “hamburger” in Japanese social media circles will replace Zaha Hadid Architects’ widely unpopular design, which resembles a bicycle helmet. Hadid’s design was criticized for being over scaled and too costly and vilified as a “monstrosity,” “a monumental mistake,” and a “disgrace.” The Japanese government dumped the design in July 2015 and announced a fresh design competition.
By contrast, Kuma’s stadium features a sunken sports ground which allows the stadium to be only 49.2 metres above the ground – 20 metres shorter than Zaha Hadid’s proposal.
Kuma’s design references historic Japanese temples. It combines traditional Japanese timber structure and modern steel construction. It also features shrubbery planted around the outer concourses of the stadium, designed to help it blend into the surrounding vegetation.
The new design is expected to cost ¥153 billion (AU$1.75 billion), which is significantly less than the cost of the original design, ¥252 billion (AU$2.9 billion). […]