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Hadid To Design New Japan National Stadium

By Brandon Gee -- November 15, 2012 5:02 PM EST

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In what was an incredibly tough contest soliciting designs from firms across the globe, Iraq-born, London-based Zaha Hadid and her eponymous firm's design for a complete rebuild of Japan's new National Stadium in Tokyo was chosen as the winner to design Japan's new National Stadium. ArchDaily.com has reported that Hadid's design for the structure signaled to renovate the aging Kasumigaoka National Stadium was chosen by the jury assembled by the Japan Sports Counsel.

Hadid's design for the new stadium features an 80,000 seat capacity, with seating structures that can be moved toward the playing surface for soccer and rugby but also can be contracted to accommodate a running track. Intertwining materials bound together with some sort of sheer polymer covering the gaps will create canopies over the seating areas. This design beat out 10 other competitors from around the world, including American sports architecture heavyweight, Populous.

Scheduled to be completed in 2018, the stadium is already scheduled to host the 2019 World Rugby Cup and would be a major venue in Japan's bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics (to be decided in September of 2013). The facility upgrade is projected to cost a staggering $1 billion (U.S.).

As for what this reconstruction will replace, Kasumikaoka National Stadium opened in 1958 and served as the centerpiece stadium of the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 48,000-seater, which features a track around its playing surface, is the current home of Japan's national soccer teams.

The National Stadium is another major win for the Pritzker & Stirling award winning architect. Notable work in her portfolio includes this major factory for BMW in Liepzig, Germany, a bridge pavilion for the international exposition Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain and Cincinnati, Ohio's Contemporary Arts Center. A past sports facility her firm designed was the London Aquatics Center, used in this past summer's Olympic Games in London.

**Photo by Japan Sport Council.

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