Japan’s Sport Council on Tuesday unveiled the 11 potential designs for its new national stadium, the first-round cut of an international competition chaired by architect Tadao Ando.
Located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, the current Kokuritsu Kasumigaoka Track and Field National Stadium played host to the 1964 Olympic Games and heralded “the birth of a modern Japanese architecture” when it was built in 1958, according to a statement by Mr. Ando. The winning design will reimagine the existing structure and host the 2019 Rugby World Cup as well as the 2020 Olympic Games if the capital city is selected.
Winnowed down from 46 submissions, the 11 finalists include the U.K.’s Zaha Hadid Architects, GMP International of Germany with Hubert Nienhoff, and Toyo Ito & Associates, one of four Japanese firms to pass muster.
Applicants were required to have won at least one of five major architecture awards: the Pritzker, the Praemium Imperial in Honor of Prince Takamatsu, or the gold medal prize from the America Institute of Architects, the Royal Institute of British Architects or the Union Internationale des Architects. Experience in designing a stadium that holds at least 15,000 was also a must.
The JSC did not disclose details of each proposal beyond a few color renderings, but the biggest differences could be seen in the designs for the roof. The Netherlands’ UNStudio with Yamashita Sekkei Inc. gave the stadium a turtle-shell-like cover, while Tsuyoshi Tane with French firm Dorell.Ghotmeh Tane hid the roof beneath a forest. Toyo Ito’s roof has a mirrored surface reflecting the sky, and fellow countryman Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA and Nikken Sekkei Ltd. conceived of the stadium as an elegant ripple.
Mr. Ando, a 1995 Pritzker Prize winner himself, led the 10-person competition jury in laying down firm demands: to design a stadium that could adjust to seat 80,000; have an operable roof; be environmentally efficient; complement the surrounding landscape; allow for smooth traffic; and, finally, be up and ready by 2018 to host the Rugby World Cup the following year. The construction budget is 130 billion yen ($1.62 billion).
Part of Japan’s bid for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, the new stadium will renovate the current one, which seats about 54,000 people. The Bird’s Nest in Beijing and the Olympic Stadium in London were both able to hold at least 80,000 during the Games.
The winners will be chosen on Nov. 7 and announced later in the month. They will receive 20 million yen ($250,750).
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