UPDATE: The Washington Post reports that Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura, has announced a plan to trim the budget proposed for the Olympic stadium (now expected to cost $3 billion) designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. While he did not reveal the details of the scale-down, he maintained that the “design concept will be kept.”
Pritzker Prize laureate Fumihiko Maki has rallied together a number of Japanese architects – including Sou Fujimoto, Toyo Ito and Kengo Kuma – to oppose the massive scale of Zaha Hadid’s competition-winning National Stadium. Planned to be Tokyo’s main venue for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games, Hadid’s 290,000 square meter stadium is accused of being “too big and too artificial” for the surrounding context.
“I hope that this protest is successful in shrinking the design to fit the context,” Fujimoto commented to Architects’ Journal. “I’m not fighting Zaha. The competition for the stadium was very rigorous and we can’t overturn everything. But the design could be better.”
In an effort to lead the protest, Maki has organized the symposium “Re-thinking the New National Olympic Stadium in the historical context of Gaien,” which will be live-streamed tomorrow. Toyo Ito, Hidenobu Jinnai, Shinji Miyadai and Tetsuo Furuichi are expected to participate.