Stadium architect plays down Olympic flame mistake, says solution being sought


The architect of the new National Stadium has said his team is remedying the nation’s latest Olympic blunder: nowhere for the Olympic flame to burn.

Kengo Kuma said work is underway to find space for a cauldron that traditionally burns during the tournament, adding that it may be necessary to lift fire restrictions for the event.

Kuma’s design, adopted in December, replaced a previous effort that was junked on cost. It lacked provision for a cauldron because there was no mention of it in a government development plan in August.

The IOC stipulates that the cauldron should be ideally placed somewhere visible both from inside and outside the stadium.

“The reviewing team is already working on it, and once the direction is there, I’ll deal with it accordingly,” Kuma said during a speech Wednesday at the Japan National Press Club. “There are various methods (to set it up), so there’s no need to worry.”

Kuma said the placement of a cauldron was not on the agenda during the December bidding. His design incorporates much wood, including stands covered by wood materials.

He played down fears that the cauldron could fall foul of the Japanese Fire Service Act.

“I didn’t propose it at the bidding because it wasn’t requested, but I thought it was highly likely to be placed inside the stadium, looking at the London Olympics, for instance.”

“The edge of the roof is made of iron, so a fire will not spread. Either way we’ll be requesting to lift the restriction (of the law) on condition of placing it in a safe location. We’re simulating various possibilities.”

  • J.P. Bunny

    How about a hologram? The whole roof of the stadium could be one giant flame without the fire hazard worries.

  • Stephen Chadfield

    ” It lacked provision for a cauldron because there was no mention of it in a government development plan in August.”

    Someone designing an Olympic Stadium didn’t put an Olympic Flame in the design because no one asked him to. Good grief.

  • aa0145

    It’s poor design to include a feature that will only be used for a few weeks and never used again into a stadium that will last 20+ years.

    The Olympics are nothing more than a corporate spectacle anyways. They killed the tradition. It’s time the Olympics came to an end.

  • Hideomi Kuze

    “Under control” speech by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was lie for Olympics merely.
    independent media of Japan have reported uncontrolled radioactive contamination.

    “Olympics 2020 is compact and reasonable” was lie,too.
    Cost of Olympics in Tokyo continue to increased over 6 times of original plan.

    Olympics 2020 is pretext of moneymaking for handful prerogative class merely.

    Japan’s Olympic 2020 Bid was like “Doping”.