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New National Stadium, Japan. Statement from Zaha Hadid Architects

“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.

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.

We have used our experience on major sports and cultural projects, including the hugely successful London 2012 Games and legacy, to design a stadium that can be built cost-effectively and still deliver the flexible and robust National Stadium that the Japan Sports Council requires.

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.”

 

 

Statement issued by Zaha Hadid Architects on 07 July 2015 following confirmation by Tokyo Olympic Games Organizing Committee (TOCOG):: 

“It is an honour to be working with our Japanese partners to create a new National Stadium that will be a new home for sport in Japan, ready to welcome the world for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Our team in Japan has developed the design with the Japan Sports Council to meet the need for a user-focussed, efficient and adaptable new National Stadium for Japan’s sporting bodies and community associations, for many generations to come. The stadium has been designed so that the arches supporting the roof will be constructed in parallel with the seating bowl, saving crucial construction time – ensuring the stadium will be delivered cost-effectively and on schedule against the backdrop of steep annual inflation in Tokyo construction costs.

The New National Stadium will be built by Japan’s world-class contractors, suppliers and workforce; demonstrating the skills and traditions of Japanese craftsmanship and technology.”

 

Detailed information on construction inflation and construction costs in Tokyo:

The cost of any project is determined by the current construction market. With so many new projects underway, the current building boom in Tokyo has increased construction demand and inflated the market – causing all construction costs in the city to grow sharply since 2012/2013 when this stadium project was first announced and Tokyo was awarded the Olympic Games.

As reported in the Nikkei Asian Review, construction costs in Tokyo increased by 11% between 2013 and 2014. http://asia.nikkei.com/Politics-Economy/Economy/Japan-s-construction-costs-at-21-year-high?page=1

Tokyo construction costs are forecast to continue their steep annual increase up to 2019. Just this high rate of construction inflation compounded over the seven years between 2012-2019 will alone add a very significant percentage to the cost of any project in Tokyo planned and built during that period – irrelevant of its design, building type or construction method.

Tokyo 2020 President, Yoshirō Mori confirmed this fact earlier this month – blaming an “imbalance of demand and supply” for the soaring construction costs of Japan’s Olympic and Paralympic project: http://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1028406/mori-blames-shortage-of-labour-for-rising-construction-costs-as-tokyo-2020-coordination-commission-concludes-visit-in-upbeat-mood

 As Tokyo is at the centre of the world’s most seismic region, all of the city’s buildings are required to meet safety codes that are the strictest in the world. The cost of building in Tokyo cannot be accurately compared to those in regions where lower building codes do not anticipate for earthquakes.