Zaha Hadid to design
Japan National Stadium


News: UK firm Zaha Hadid Architects has been selected to design the new national stadium for Japan.

Japan National Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects

The new 80,000-seat stadium will replace the existing Kasumigaoka National Stadium in Tokyo and could become the main sporting venue for the 2020 Olympic Games if Japan is successful in its bid to host the event.

Japan National Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects

The arena is also earmarked to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and will be offered to FIFA as a possible venue for future World Cup football matches.

Japan National Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects

Zaha Hadid Architects has seen off ten other finalists to win the competition, which was organised by the Japan Sport Council.

"Our three decades of research into Japanese architecture and urbanism is evident in our winning design and we greatly look forward to building the new National Stadium," said Hadid. "The stadium will become an integral element of Tokyo's urban fabric, directly engaging with the surrounding cityscape to connect and carve the elegant forms of the design. The unique structure is both light and cohesive, defining a silhouette that integrates with the city. The perimeter of the stadium will be an inhabited bridge: a continuous exhibition space that creates an exciting new journey for visitors."

The new building will also feature a retractable roof and is scheduled for completion in 2018.

Also this week, the Zaha Hadid-designed Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum opened to the public at Michigan State University.

See more stories about Zaha Hadid Architects, including the recently completed Galaxy Soho, a 330,000-square-metre retail, office and entertainment complex in Beijing.

  • Zaha must have been part of Captain Kirk’s crew. If this isn’t a “star ship”, I don’t know what is!

  • Michael

    Best of them all! A masterpiece!

  • Aiko

    Finally a project that is well integrated with the topography! I am from Tokyo and this is a true reference to our culture. Thanks Zaha!

  • Architizer

    Zaha critics are going through a pretty rough time it seems ;-) Congratulations to everyone involved. Fantastic design.

  • I agree – with both comments. Very space age. Very cool.

  • downhill

    Hey – there's space for some ski slopes there!

  • marcos

    This is so sad. SANAA was the best. Again, another Zaha vomit.

  • mogumogura

    Oh god. You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t want that massive sh*t in my country. Sigh. Why, Ando-san, WHY?

  • Peter and Paul

    Zaha is becoming Calatravian.

  • GmR

    Same old… same old… same… old!

  • T,.T

    I wonder if she’ll get a ticket this time.

  • Roy Liu

    This would make a cool riding helmet.

  • I want to see the white entrance roads and junctions in reality.

    • Miguel Castro

      Estas ciego? Para empezar no son carreteras. Son cruces peatonales o en el mejor de los casos caminamientos saludos!

  • May-the-best-win

    Can anyone guess who the jurors were?

    • mogumogura

      Tadao Ando.

      • noyz

        Under a stroke of temporary madness.

  • jonesstreet


  • P.LEE

    Zaha rocks!

    • saus

      I’d say stoned, more like.

  • hesh

    I’m no fan of Hadid at the best of times – in fact I’d go as far as to say she is worse than Libeskind – but this is so far short of some of the other entries that it bewilders me how it won.

  • Peter Wilson

    Good to see another context-free design by Dame Zaha and so much money saved by not having had to bother with a cursory site visit. The judges obviously believe the merchandising opportunities can cover the cost of the stadium itself – parametric bicycle helmets for all!

  • Rafael

    Great piece and a very clever decision, Ando-San.

  • Jacopo

    I’m not a Zaha fan, but I have to admit that this is the best stadium I have seen so far. Very interesting and finally taking it further than just a stadium. Bravo!

  • junyi

    Pure site integration. Amazing!

  • Karoly

    So far, this is the best stadium I’ve seen in my entire life.

  • antonio.m

    Incredible. Amazing! Japan will win the bid for the 2020 Olympics with this stadium!

  • Darren

    The ability to make beautiful objects is both Zaha’s strength and her weakness. If the project is small, then fine, it is a small beautiful thingy. But if the project is massive, then human scale is really neglected. Look at the curvature of the roof (if I can still call it a roof): it reminds me of the curvature of the Earth viewed from a high-flying Jetliner. It’s really hard for me to relate to it.

  • Michael Booth

    It looks like a Pininfarina show car from c1972. In a good way.

  • david

    These organic forms compared to the proposal from SANAA are very aggressive. A pity that this was chosen over SANAA’s and Ito’s proposals, which are far more elegant and sensitive.

    I never get the appeal of Zaha Hadid. While I respect her search for form, I cant help feeling that her approach verges on being generic and completely insensitive to context. I also feel that her work here is to illustrative, even with all its abstract lines.

  • Paul

    I am again made to wonder how much this will cost to maintain, not even taking into account the cost of actually building it. This is all excessive and fancy, and quite repetitive from Zaha Hadid.

    Japan is hit by one of the worst crises in its modern history and this is what they come up with, in the country that seems to have defined what a minimal but extremely efficient building can be? I am extremely disappointed by this structure on many different levels.

  • Where can one see the other proposals?

  • John michael

    Spreading her cancer all over the globe, staining one great city at a time.

  • sea fish

    The fact that architects now use super CAD tools has led to an enthusiasm for form, which is distracting from architecture’s truth. The scale of the stadium is enormous – look at the buildings nearby. It seems like it has landed there than blended with the landscape. Where is the simplicity of Japanese culture?

    I realy liked the French proposal, where a the stadium was in a hill covered with trees, because although the design of Zaha is organic, there is nothing more organic than a planted hill.

  • ayebruh4rila

    Looks like a computer mouse.

  • hanna

    Looks like Darth Vader’s helmet.

  • matt

    There’s a lot of love and hate when it comes to Zaha Hadid’s work. I think her kind of work is necessary to be realized and exposed in Japan, where boxes are the only way of architectural expression. Sure, Japanese are good in expressing a banal box design. But to have more variations of expressive architecture like Zaha will allow the younger generations of architects and students in Japan, who are limited in being taught by the old-school teachers that doesn’t allow any new implementation in their education. Such introduction can motivated us to do something different beyond the box.

    Think about Kenzo Tange’s Yoyogi Stadium for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. That was crazy architecture back then but it really shows what architecture can possibly do with the available resources back then. I hope her stadium, if built, will be as timeless as Tange’s stadium and implement every possible marvel of technology that can teach our future generations to be different.

    • CCT

      Japanese architecture isn’t just about boxes, but they represent a more minimal and rational way of design comparing to western architecture. If you look at the works of students of, for example, Todai or University of Kyoto, You may notice that Zaha Hadid’s way of stressing forms is quite old and boring, comparing to what they can do by playing within boxes.

  • Willem

    Why couldn't the original be refurbished?

  • Breadcrumbtrail

    Revives Kisho Kurokawa. That man knew how to create beautiful venues with genuine structural efficiency.

  • Personally I like it.