Zaha Hadid’s controversial plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo have been scrapped.
Including dismantling the original structure of stadium and expanding its capacity into bigger one.
Construction on Tokyo’s Olympic stadium was to begin in October and was going to be completed by May 2019 – just in time for the Rugby World Cup.
TOKYO-After weeks of criticism over the cost of Tokyo’s new Olympic Stadium, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his government would scrap the current design for the central venue of the 2020 Summer Games and start from scratch.
“The Olympics are a celebration for the Japanese people”, Mr. Abe said.
The prime minister said he obtained the consent of Mori, a former prime minister, and instructed the sports and Olympics ministers to immediately prepare a process to choose a new plan.
The proposed stadium faced growing criticism as the estimate of it cost rose to 252 billion yen ($2 billion).
“World Rugby is urgently seeking further detailed clarification from the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee and will need to consider the options relating to the impact of today’s announcement”, World Rugby said in a statement.
His abrupt decision Friday was seen as damage control as the costly stadium was another headache for Abe’s government, whose support rating has already fallen over unpopular defence legislation and gaffes by his party members.
A spokesman for World Rugby, organizers of the Rugby World Cup, said the group was “extremely disappointed” by the announcement that the stadium would not be able to host the tournament, which he said came “despite repeated assurances to the contrary”.
Hadid defended her design in 2014, telling Dezeen: “They don’t want a foreigner to build in Tokyo for a national stadium”.
“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”, Jim Heverin, project director of Zaha Hadid Architects said in a statement emailed to the Associated Press.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that officials are open to any suggestions to minimize the cost burden.
“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”. Shimomura said a design would be chosen in about six months in a competition.
Since the choice of Ms. Hadid’s design, Japanese architects and public figures have criticized it as hard and expensive to build.