• Kyodo


The Olympic stadium review panel finished evaluating two proposed designs for the new National Stadium on Saturday, holding 90-minute hearings for each group.

The Japan Sport Council’s panel of seven members, specializing in architecture and landscape, marked the proposals out of 140 points, with cost and construction time accounting for 70 points, attention toward “Japaneseness” for 50, and enforcement policy for 20.

“I have been handed the thoughts of the committee. I will consider them myself” and announce the decision, said Kazumi Ohigashi, the senior JSC director in charge of the project and stadium operations.

Although the council did not identify the bidders, they are rumored to be two joint ventures — one formed by companies including construction giant Taisei Corp., and the other a three-way venture comprising Takenaka Corp., Shimizu Corp. and Obayashi Corp.

The proposals, named A and B, were unveiled Monday. Their cost estimates are between ¥148.9 billion and ¥149.6 billion. The stadium budget is ¥155 billion.

“I gave it my best,” former Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Toyoo Ito said after the hearing. Ito is thought to be involved in the three-way venture’s design.

Kengo Kuma, known for leading the remodeling of the Kabuki-za Theater in Tokyo and likely a member of the other party, left without comment.

In addition to the evaluations, the views of former athletes in this week’s discussion session and public comments posted online will all be taken into account before Ohigashi selects the winner.

The winner will be named at a meeting of relevant Cabinet ministers to be held by the end of the year.

In July, the government scrapped the original stadium plan conceived by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid amid public outcry over its estimated cost, which nearly doubled from the initially projected ¥130 billion.

The selection process also came under scrutiny after much of the information regarding the project was not made public.

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