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Tokujin Yoshioka reveals alternative vision for Tokyo Olympic stadium

Japanese designer Tokujin Yoshioka has revealed his own vision for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, which he was not permitted to enter into the design competition (+ movie).

Olympic stadium by Tokujin Yoshioka

Yoshioka – best known for his transparent furniture and weather-themed installations – planned to compete against Kengo Kuma and Toyo Ito in the most recent stadium design contest, but was excluded from entering.

Like original competition winner Zaha Hadid, who was also unable to bid for the project again, the Tokyo-based designer could not meet the brief criteria without finding a construction partner able to guarantee a budget.

Olympic stadium by Tokujin Yoshioka

"Since the competition this time around called for a design-build format, countless architects including Zaha Hadid and myself were not able to participate," said Yoshioka.

The designer's proposal is for a ring-shaped stadium with a pool of water on the roof. This pool could be repurposed as an iceskating rink, he suggests, while during events it would integrate a ring of fire.

Olympic stadium by Tokujin Yoshioka

He describes it as "a piece of architecture transformed into a platform for the Olympic Flame".

"Visitors can enjoy jogging and strolling at the tranquil water's edge amid the greenery of the outer gardens," he explained. "During the summer, it produces a cooling effect, and in winter it is transformed into an ice skating rink. The water can also be used in the event of a disaster."

Olympic stadium by Tokujin Yoshioka

"A piece of architecture which transcends form becomes a fountain for athletes, and at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics it will be reborn as a huge platform for the Olympic Flame – a symbol of courage and hope to people all over the world," he added.

Now that Kengo Kuma has been selected to take the project forward, Yoshioka hopes his design can be recycled for another location, either in Japan or elsewhere.

"It is my wish that this idea will live on perpetually and be realised somewhere in the world in the future," he said.

Olympic stadium by Tokujin Yoshioka

Hadid was ousted from the stadium job back in July, despite having worked on the design for over two years. Kuma was revealed to be taking over the project in December, and has denied claims that his design is similar to Hadid's.

Yoshioka has never completed a major building project before, but his previous forays into architecture include a glass tea house and a window made of 500 glass prisms.