Zaha Hadid Officially Withdraws Her Bid to Build the Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Zaha Hadid's initial design for the 2020 Olympic stadium. Photo: Zaha Hadid Architects.

Just weeks after Zaha Hadid announced her re-entry for the bid to design the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium, the British-Iraqi architect said she is throwing in the towel.

After her initial winning design was rejected amid soaring construction costs, Hadid partnered with a local engineering firm to create a “cost-effective delivery plan,” according to the Guardian. But there was a hitch. Under the new competition, all design firms are required to find a construction company to work with, however, Hadid’s team has said it was unable meet this prerequisite.

“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,” a spokesman for Zaha Hadid Architects in London said in a statement to the Guardian.

The Japanese government has capped spending at 155 billion yen (about $1.3 billion), after initial estimates for Hadid’s designs reached 250 billion yen ($2 billion)—three times the amount of London’s 2012 Olympics stadium and Beijing’s 2008 facility.

While Japan has blamed mounting costs on the stadium’s design, Hadid’s office has maintained their stance that the real cost challenge lies with construction cost and a fixed deadline.

However, Hadid’s design was unpopular from the start. In December, architect Arata Isozaki referred to it as “a dull, slow form, like a turtle waiting for Japan to sink so that it can swim away.” Others thought it resembled a very expensive bike helmet.

To keep up with the capped cost, 4,000 seats have been erased from the stadium, which will now hold 68,000. But more will have to be added if Japan wants to ever host the World Cup, which requires at least 80,000 seats, reports the Guardian.

Related stories:

Japan Scraps Zaha Hadid’s $2 Billion Design for Tokyo Olympic Stadium

Zaha Hadid Teams Up With Japanese Firm in Hopes of Regaining Olympic Contract

Japan Withdraws Logo for 2020 Olympics Following Plagiarism Accusations

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