Bike helmet design chosen for new national stadium

AFP-JIJI

The Japan Sport Council has approved a huge bicycle helmet-style design for the new national stadium, which Tokyo hopes will play center stage if it wins the right to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, the environmentally efficient stadium will have a retractable roof and seating for 80,000 people. It is expected to cost around ¥130 billion.

The stadium needs to be ready for 2019, when Japan hosts the rugby World Cup, and for the Olympics the following year if Tokyo beats out competitors Madrid and Istanbul.

It will be built on the site of the existing national stadium, the centerpiece of the 1964 Olympics.

Hadid designed the Aquatics Center for this year’s London Olympics.

“It has dynamism, which is most essential to sport and its streamlined shape fits its internal space. It is also new in terms of structural technology,” said Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who chaired the competition jury.

Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda said it will be “the best of the best” and “the first all-weather Olympic Stadium.”