The scrapped Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Architect Zaha Hadid will take another crack at designing Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics stadium, her Japanese business partner said Monday, after her initial proposal was scrapped due to its eye-watering $2 billion price tag.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shocked Olympic organisers in July when he pulled the plug on the Iraqi-British architect’s design after soaring costs put it on course to become the most expensive sportsstadium ever built. 

The futuristic design had also attracted criticism from some architects who said it would be an eyesore.

Tokyo has launched a new tender and hopes to have a fresh design chosen before the end of this year.

Hadid — who earlier rejected Tokyo’s claims that cost overruns were due to her design — said she would go back to the drawing board with partner Japanese design firm Nikken Sekkei. 

The two had worked together on the original winning design.

“Our team in Japan and the UK have worked closely with Nikken Sekkei to develop a design for the new national stadium for Japan that meets the government’s core principles,” Hadid said in a statement.

Nikken Sekkei said that the team would “actively contribute to propose and realise the world’s best stadium”.

Japan slashed the cost of the new Olympic stadium by more than 40 percent, setting a 155 billion yen ($1.28 billion) cap on construction costs, well below the 265 billion yen estimated under the now-ditched design.

The International Olympic Committee has demanded that Japan complete its new national stadium by January 2020, three months earlier than planned. Tokyo is due to host the opening ceremony on July 24 that year.

The stadium change has angered World Rugby because the new venue will not be ready in time for the 2019 World Cup being hosted by Japan. – Agence France-Presse

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