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The Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games: A Wondrous Celebration of Construction and Design
August 4, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Subikshaa Stalin
image 3 - archdaily.jpg

Throughout the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, we found ourselves rooting and cheering for our nation’s prodigious sports stars as they put their best stride forward. Today, Archslate invites you to cherish and celebrate another important aspect of the Olympian festivities - the built spaces and elaborate venues that host the grand sporting event.

Four Venues that are Hosting the 2021 Olympics in Japan

1. Japan National Stadium by Kengo Kuma - 2019

2. Ariake Gymnastics Centre by Nikken Sekkei + Shimizu Corporation - 2019

3. Fumihiko Maki’s Makuhari Messe Hall - 1989

4. Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi National Stadium - 1964

1. Japan National Stadium by Kengo Kuma - 2019

The timbre-clad oval stadium has been the focus of attention of this year’s Olympics hosting the most distinguished Opening and Closing ceremonies. Kuma’s controversial yet ambitious design reflects a rhythmic composition of contemporary styles and Japanese traditions in its wooden elements. Prioritizing the nation’s capital and built resources, Kenzo Kuma, in his cost-efficient design of the grand sports complex embodied the values of a new changing Japanese society. The apparent ‘horizontality’ of the National Stadium stands in sharp contrast to the verticality in Zaha Hadid’s glorified proposal for the same structure. In Kuma’s opinion, the horizontality of his design represents the Japanese individuality in a better perspective. Hadid’s defunct designs envisioned heroism with its absolute verticality and grandiose height, neglecting its prized urban surroundings.

Although Zaha Hadid’s designs initially managed to win the international competition, the Japanese government dismissed them due to the proposal’s exorbitant budgets. In 2016, Kuma’s National Stadium started taking shape on real ground and neared its completion in 2019. The stadium now hosts soccer and tracking tournaments and can accommodate a total of 68,000 individuals.

2. Ariake Gymnastics Centre by Nikken Sekkei + Shimizu Corporation - 2019

Holding the prestigious gymnastics and Boccia tournaments this Olympic season, the Ariake Gymnastics Centre is located alongside the canal in the northern part of the Ariake district. A visually striking feature of the structure is the elaborate floating wooden vessel enclosing it. Harboring sustainability and wooden utility as the prime concept for all structures of the Tokyo 2021 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the sporting complex exhibits a progressive design in this regard.

The Gymnastic Centre makes use of wood and timber extensively to meet the sustainability requirements as well as to pay homage to