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

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

In July, starchitect Zaha Hadid‘s plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium were ditched by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after costs soared and complaints were sounded about the stadium’s helmet-like design.

Now, in the hopes of winning back the project, Hadid has joined forces with Japanese engineering firm Nikken Sekkei.

The Guardian reports that Hadid’s eponymous firm and the design/engineering company will submit a new bid touting “the most cost-effective delivery plan,” despite the fact that they have yet to name a contractor that will be able to deliver under the tight time constraints.

The Japanese government has capped spending for the venue at 155 billion yen (about $1.3 billion), a significant drop from the 250 billion yen ($2 billion) estimate on Hadid’s initial design.

“Our team in Japan and the UK have worked closely with Nikken Sekkei to develop a design for the new national stadium for Japan that meets the government’s core principles, and it is an honor to be invited to progress the design together with Nikken Sekkei to the revised technical brief,” Hadid said in a statement.

Zaha Hadid Photo: Nicholas Hunt /

Zaha Hadid.
Photo: Nicholas Hunt /

The Japanese government was forced to apologize for wasting taxpayer money earlier this summer, as about 6.2 billion yen ($51 million) had been payed to Hadid’s firm already. “We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero,” Abe told reporters.

Hadid maintains that there was nothing wrong with her original blueprint, and that the problems arose from disagreements on acceptable construction costs. Her firm has stated that they believe the joint project with Nikken Sekkei would still be ready “in good time” if selected.

The stadium isn’t the first setback officials for the 2020 games have faced. Last week, Japan was forced to withdraw their proposed logo for the Tokyo Olympics following plagiarism allegations.

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Controversy Rages Over Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Stadium Design for Tokyo

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