Hadid Withdraws from 2nd Tokyo Olympics Stadium Competition

Zaha Hadid Architects
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After their competition-winning design for the 2020 Olympics stadium in Tokyo was scrapped due to rising costs, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has stepped down from the revised competition, unable to find a contractor to partner with.

Nikken Sekkei, the Japanese architecture firm ZHA teamed up with as part of a required consortium of firms, released a statement on 18 September indicating the two firms were not able to secure a construction company in its consortium. Hadid's firm said in the statement: "It is disappointing that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new national stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition."

Japan dropped ZHA's competition-winning design in July after its costs rose to $2 billion USD, even though the architects had scaled back their design to make it fit the original $1.1 billion USD budget. Initial completion was planned for 2018 so the stadium could be used for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as well as the 2020 Olympics; with the July decision, Japan admitted a stadium arising from a new competition would not be ready for that earlier event.

Since being dropped, ZHA has mounted a public relations campaign – including a nearly half-hour-long video – arguing for the merits of their competition-winning design and its feasibility in being built on budget and on time. The 18 September statement reiterates this sentiment:

Nikken Sekkei and ZHA are prepared and able to deliver a cost-effective Stadium that meets the revised brief, is ready in good time for the 2020 Games and provides a new home for sport in Japan for generations to come. While the current competition is closed to the existing design team we stand ready to use the wealth of detailed knowledge and expertise, built up through the thousands of hours dedicated to the project, to assist the National and Tokyo Governments and Japanese people deliver a Stadium fit to welcome the world in 2020 and go on to host national, international and community events for the next 50-100 years.

ZHA's scrapped, 1st-competition-winning design
 

ZHA's scrapped, 1st-competition-winning design