Joined: 05 Jul 2018
|Posted: Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:15 am Post subject: cing of the stadi
by Jon Day
TOKYO Deadrin Senat Jersey , Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- If things had gone to plan the construction of the new main stadium, the centerpiece of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, would already be underway as Japan says goodbye to 2015 and ushers in a new year.
But from scrapped designs, budget farces, allegations of collusion, breaches of intellectual property, plagiarism and leaks of confidential data, it would seem that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is destined to be permanently jinxed.
While the Japanese government will be clambering in 2016 to get the plans somewhat back on track, it's already too late for an original, logical and well-conceived plan that would have seen a new national stadium constructed to serve both the Olympics and the Rugby World Cup also to be hosted here a year earlier in 2019, with an economically sound blueprint for the stadium to generate revenue into the future as a major sporting venue for Japan's professional J-League soccer setup.
A step initially seen as moving in the right direction, possibly the first one since Tokyo was awarded the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games back in 2013, the government here last week approved a design by architect Kengo Kuma for the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games with the planned project also linking in construction behemoth Taisei Corp.
A stadium design previously approved by the government by London-based architect Zaha Hadid and central to Tokyo's winning bid to host the game for its sunken design, cost-cutting considerations and use of wood both for aesthetics and as an environmentally-conscious element, was unceremoniously dumped by the government prior to this, who cited ballooning construction costs, as original estimates of 130 billion yen (1.07 billion U.S. dollars) somehow doubled in the two years after Tokyo was selected as the host city.
The ""new"" design by Kuma, however, for the main stadium, at an estimated cost of 149 billion yen (1.23 billion U.S. dollars), which the government seems content with, has at least publicly, failed to factor in the increasing costs of antiterrorism measures now necessary in the wake of the deadly Paris and other attacks by militant groups in public places.
Economists estimate that the total cost of hosting the Games will skyrocket to around 15 billion U.S. dollars, some six times as much as the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee's initial estimate.
The latest price tag will put the cost of hosting the Games here above that of the 2012 London Olympic Games, as well as the Rio Olympics in terms of operating budget and analysts have said due to the uncertain security outlook, the cost of the Games could continue to soar in the future.
Nevertheless, the selection of the new design was hailed as progress by all and sundry, with Hadid's iconic ""bicycle helmet"" design being dropped in favor of a new design that has been likened to a giant hamburger with a fried egg dumped on top.
The new design was also hailed as a ""revolutionary"", ""environmentally-conscious"" design that incorporates ""wooden columns and roofing fixtures to blend with the city's natural surroundings"", with the stadium being ""partly sunken"" to further merge its structure with the surrounding environment.
Suffice to say, it would seem that in the latest Olympics-linked debacle, Kuma's design may have ""borrowed"" some key features of the rejected design, according to the designer herself.
As reported by local media here and stated on her firm's website last week, Hadid said it was her design that was successful in securing the Games for Tokyo and at that time Japanese collaborators were privy to all aspects of the winning design and had, essentially, ripped them off.
""ZHA and Arup Sports have been collaborating on the design with the Sekkei Joint Venture that includes four of the largest design consultants in Japan led by Nikken Sekkei,"" Hadid said.
""The team selected in the new, restricted, competition includes Azusa Sekkei, who were part of the ZHA supervised original design team and focused specifically on the seating bowl, and also one of the original contractors, Taisei. Taisei were contracted to deliver the ""sunken bowl"" of the original ZHAArup design and, along with Azusa, had access to all of the detailed drawings, plans and work carried out over 2 years by the original design team,"" said Hadid.
She said Azusa and Taisei also had access to the detailed cost savings proposed, including the reducing of the stadium's permanent capacity to 68,000 with temporary seats used to reach 80,000, removing the retractable roof, removing air conditioning from under each of the 80,000 seats, removing the public walkway and viewing points around the venue, removing the permanent running track and removing the non-stadium functions such a convention center, museum and gym.
""When ZHA proposed these changes they were rejected by the client and the team was eventually instructed to cease proposing cost saving solutions. However, all these cost saving solutions were adopted in the brief of the new competition,"" Hadid said, adding that between July 2013 and July 2015, Tokyo construction costs will increase by an average of 25 percent and are forecast to increase at a similar rate for the next four years up to the 2020 Olympic Games.
""This steep rate of construction inflation will add significant costs to the 18 month delay caused by the new competition. These huge avoidable costs, and other penalties incurred from breaking commitments for the stadium's readiness in 2019, can only be recouped by significantly lowering the quality and standards of a replacement building or incurring additional costs,"" said the architect, who also said her design team does not ""recognize as a meaningful or credible the 3 billion U.S. dollar estimate produced by the contractors and previously announced by the Government without consulting
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