‘The Twist’: Tokyo Olympic Stadium Competition Entry / MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes

  • 22 Mar 2013
  • by
  • Sports Architecture
Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects +

Designed as not only a sports stadium, but as a city fragment, the design by MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes is an attractor: innovative and a generator of vitality. Given the name The Twist, their proposal for the Olympic Stadium is expanding in order to better reach users’ requirements: proximity, diversity, and accessibility. Their conept, unlike other conventional stadiums, is an elliptical spiral which is gradually unrolling and forming. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes

The architecture connects gardens, squares, covered pedestrian streets, gathering spaces and induce new urban compartments. Their design is gradually unrolling and forming the built space with a slope of 2%, serving the 80 000 places (with a visibility angle that grows from 20% in the bottom part to 45% at the top part of the gardens). This disposition aims to offer to the public a perfect visibility from all the gardens. The slope also facilitates the access in the building for people with motor deficiencies.

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes

Good Connections

The stadium and its neighborhood are a integrated part of the city. Due to its good connections with the city, for arrive there, spectators can use public transport day and night to reach and leave.

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes

Big parking areas are provided near the public transport stations connected with the stadium.  The entry and exit of the stadium are made through three different circuits.

1- Elliptical ramp including an indoor and outdoor circuit serving different gardens (that may also include the parking under the gardens )
2- 16 elevator platforms (100 people per platform)for areas of 5000 spectators.
3- stairs in each area of 5000 people of 16 passage units.

As a consequence, the stadium can be evacuated in 15 minutes.The exit circuit is conceived in a manner that evacuates the public in specific areas, separated of the other services.

Courtesy of MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes

A Permanent Place to Live

Our stadium is the synonym of vitality. Is the area where you can stay and live every day, before and after the event. The viewer is not only the host of a stadium, but also an inhabited neighborhood: shopping places, cinema complex, restaurants, hotels, housing, services, sports facilities, gardens and public places. All these transform the stadium from a monument into  a familiar place,opened and public which permits to its visitors to hang out, to talk to meet each other. New spaces are created, real viewpoints, giving both the lawn and the city. From these urban balconies, you can see for free the show, reach the shops and the restaurants located nearby. This is a radically new way to experience the event: free, being in the stadium but feeling that you are in a true living part of the city.

site plan


It doesn’t consumes energy, but it creates it. The large roof surface become a solar field, generator of electricity. Rainwater is stored and reused. Energy sources are completing the needs of the stadium and of the neighborhood. The stadium adapts to new practices. The principles of saving energy and functional densification are the most important characteristics of our project.


The superstructure  is divided into two parts: the elliptical spiral which turns and forms the stadium and an peripheral exterior structure which allows the gradual insertion of facilities like: offices, apartments, amphitheatres, commercial spaces. This second structure is the support of the extension and for the integration of the stadium into the city.This structure represents  also the financial support of the stadium. The investment is amortized by all the equipment  contained by this structure.  With our approach we can build one or more hotels, of 3,4 and 5 stars, from 250 to 1000 rooms, apartments, thousand square meters of offices and other equipment which amortize like that very fast the investment.

elevation 01

The coverage of the  stadium is a  tri-dimensional  opaque metal structure, covered with opaque and translucent photovoltaic panels, compounded by a fixed part and a mobile part.The fixed part, elliptical in shape, is covered with opaque photovoltaic cells. Under its oblique shaped face it is the gallery with technical devices, the access to the stadium lights and the implementation of sky visions around the perimeter of the ellipse. The mobile part (circular) consists of retractable blades such as lens focal length, they open and close depending on the weather or according to the needs of the show. Its surface is made by translucent photovoltaic cells.

elevation 02

Each sport has its rituals, myths, its profound nature. Each show also. Rugby has its codes, different of football, tennis and of course of those of a concert. Colors, lights, icons, everything is centered on the codes that enhance the pleasure of the moment. At each event, the stadium transforms and adapts to the spirit of the show.


The infrastructure, given by the slope of the terrain, contains: parking, access services, the pit – including the  mechanism for raising and lowering the pitch (on synchronized cylinders) and the edges of the pit, on both sides of the pitch in the direction of the length,  supported by the rail mechanism,  flyovers covering the lawn when the latter is lowered. The platform, made of 4 or 6 sections  mounted on tri-dimensional steel beams , is coated with a floor allowing any charging (crowds, festive activities, earth, ice, water, etc..). The stadium is sheltered by a mobile roof, which can be adapted for all the situations mentioned above (focal lens are opening and closing – thermal triggered).

It must be more than a stadium economically and socially profitable. It is designed and sized to accommodate various sports and culture events. Football field, rugby, tennis, basketball, handball, concert halls, operas, congresses, conferences, all find their exact dimensions. This multi-functionality  changes profoundly the nature of the stadium, it becomes  indispensable for the city.

Architects: MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes
Location: Tokyo, Japan
MenoMenoPiu Architects Project Team: Mario Emanuele Salini, Rocco Valantines, Gilberto Bonelli, Paolo Venturella, Alessandro Balducci, Cristian Gheorghe
FHF Architectes Project Team: Francois Filippi, Gabriele Guastella, Alexandra Popescu

Cite: Furuto, Alison. "‘The Twist’: Tokyo Olympic Stadium Competition Entry / MenoMenoPiu Architects + FHF Architectes" 22 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=344368>