Japan has scrapped Zaha Hadid’s controversial plans for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.
Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has announced that the stadium design will be restarted from scratch due to the increasing costs, reported The Guardian.
Abe said: “We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero. I have been listening to the voices of the people for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review.”
Zaha Hadid Architects have also released a statement confirming the news.
“Our teams in Japan and the UK have been working hard with the Japan Sports Council to design a new National Stadium that would be ready to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Tokyo 2020 Games and meet the need for a new home for Japanese sport for the next 50 to 100 years,” the statement said.
“It is absolutely right that the benefits and costs of the new National Stadium should be clearly and accurately communicated and understood by the public and decision-makers in Japan and we hope that this is one of the objectives of the review announced by the prime minister.”
The estimated cost for the stadium rose to $2 billion last year.
“The construction cost had been greatly inflated and there were criticisms from the public including the athletes on the plan,” said Abe. “This made me believe that we’ll not be able to host a game that everyone in this country will celebrate.”
Hadid’s statement said: “It is not the case that the recently reported cost increases are due to the design, which uses standard materials and techniques well within the capability of Japanese contractors and meets the budget set by the Japan Sports Council.
“The real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in Tokyo and a fixed deadline.”
The stadium had already caused some controversy among high profile Japanese architects including Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma and Fumihiko Maki who signed a petition to have the design thrown out due to its scale.
The stadium was later re-designed following budget changes and ongoing criticism. The design was then slammed by architect Arata Isozaki who said the newly proposed plan is a “monumental mistake”.