Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic Stadium


Though it seemed a compromise was met last October, when Japan’s minister of education, Hakubun Shimomura announced plans to reduce the cost and scale of the Zaha Hadid-designed Tokyo Olympic Stadium, the debate rages on.  

Pritzker laureates Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki have launched an online to “defend the ginko tree-lined landscape of blue sky and Jingu Outer Gardens” from the construction of Hadid’s “oversized” stadium. 

The petition (now with more than 13,000 signatures) urges the Sports Council, who hand selected Hadid’s winning design alongside Tadao Ando, to reconsider upgrading the existing Meiji Jingo Gaien Stadium and the gardens surrounding it. This solution, they believe, is a more affordable and sustainable alternative that would prevent the relocation of nearby residents. 

Take a tour though Zaha Hadid’s 2020 Olympic Stadium and share your thoughts about the design (and petition), after the break…

The 80,000-seat stadium, which was selected over 10 other finalists in November 2012 to serve as the new Japan National Stadium, is scheduled for completion just before the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "Toyo Ito and Fumihiko Maki Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympic Stadium" 14 May 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed 25 May 2015. <>
  • Charlie Bruzzese

    I knew that aliens would eventually land somewhere. Too bad for Tokyo’s inhabitants.

  • aw

    Maybe they’re friendly, who knows :)

  • Yuko Kobayashi

    This is outrageous, out-of-proportion, out- of-place, out-of-harmony with the environment! Couldn’t it be moved to the water front of the Tokyo Bay?

  • pet

    why not just dump it into the bay itself?

  • György Pálffy

    Completly oversized, arrogant, egoistic exhibitionist architecture. Out of cultural and city context, drawn by people, who might have visited, but understood nothing of Tokyo. Somebody should put an end to this global visual pollution produced by this practice.

  • Alexandre Collaço

    Its as usual oversized, egotistic, exibitionist, not inserted on the environment, all that traditional Zaha package, but Damn it is an Astonishing clash of beautifully designed shape and spaciality. That lateral ramp is something.

  • Mobius Man

    Colossal, but not in a good way!
    I’m sorry ZHA, it’s just to big. It’s gargantuan even, dominating everything around it, and the obvious symbolism was always going to be there to ridicule. That is sad I think, because it diminishes the groundbreaking work of the practice.
    Move on to the next iteration?

  • Ljubisa Lukovic

    I’m from Belgrade, Serbia. It is planned the construction of a huge hotel near the old fortress, the symbol of the city. The designer of this complex is Zaha. She is a planetary threat.

  • modernist

    dear zaha, iraq does not have a space program yet. why are you building gigantic space ships? perhaps you have an inferiority complex? please get some help!

  • Devil’s Advocate

    While they raise some interesting points that need to be considered (and one wonders why they weren’t to begin with), I think there could be other motives behind their dissatisfaction with the stadium plans. The architects who are headlining this effort are both Japanese and male, while Zaha Hadid is both not Japanese and female. With this stadium being for the Olympics in Tokyo, it’s not a far stretch to suggest their objections are a mix of nationalism/racism, sexism, and pride.

    Again, this is just an observation after living in Tokyo for six years, and seeing racism and sexism casually displayed on a daily basis.