olympics

Architect of Tokyo 2020 stadium says his design not a copy

21 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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“Japan needs to work harder to really open its doors to make it a more welcoming environment for people from other countries to work in.”

not much chance of that really happening I'm afraid... it's one reason why Japan's economy has gone nowhere for the last 30 years....

9 ( +10 / -1 )

This is all Zaha Hadid fault, JOC sent her the budget for the design and she never checked it. Now she says "lookout for contractors". But most contractors always use local people, local services, Its not a construction in Africa.

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

“In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all,”

Didn't we hear the designer of the Olympic logo say something similar? He may be right, but just saying.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Kuma’s plan is expected to cost 153 billion yen ($1.26 billion) to design, build and maintain, and he said his >team intended to meet its cost and time requirements.

Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. It'll probably end up being as expensive as the original projection for Hadid's design.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all,” Kuma told reporters. He added that “the concept is completely different, despite the similarities.”

I'm sorry. Say that again?? Obviously there will be some similarities, but just pay the former designer the contracted amount and then it won't matter.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It seems that all designs made by designers and all structures built in the world have all something more or less resembling or similar for each other.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge, the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities.

Sounds like a script written for him by a lawyer. The issue is not about the 'concept', it is all about the similarities in the internal layout. And despite the competition condition, why was all the designs submitted during the competition different from each other? Even the last competition, plan A and plan B had a distinct difference. The only similarities would be the number of seating, not the structural layout, access strategies, service access and the geometry of the stadium bowl that is in question.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Of course there's similarities. It's a sports stadium, which is basically a big open area in the middle of the building surrounded by tiered seating all facing the big open area.

That is the fundamental nature of a stadium, and has been since at least when the city-state of Athens was a major world power.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Japan needs to work harder to really open its doors to make it a more welcoming environment for people from other countries to work in.

haha don't bother giving this "lip-service".

The whole "let's have a foreign-designed stadium" was just a sham.

Powerful forces behind the scenes in Japan made sure that did not happen.

The end result is a Japanese-designed stadium that looks very average, old-fashioned, showa-era and boring... with a few plants stuck on it that, let's be honest, look messy and cheap.

Compare it with the amazing and iconic Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing... truly the result of international collaboration. It really is a wonderful and revolutionary building.

It's a pity... Japan has just local and parochial mentality and cannot do such international collaboration, so it ends up with an average, boring, local-looking stadium.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I am a sculptor, painter, author, poet, and a lawyer. I have lived in Japan more than 20 years. I know exactly what is going on here. It is because I have worked in Japanese middle-schools, high-schools and universities. "Individualism" is considered as selfish, showing-off... This something must not be allowed. Because this destroys the unity of a large group or, it makes teacher's job very difficult (unmanageable...)

Children and people here are not allow to think out-off their brain's box. At the same time this so-called "box" dose not exist, it is because it has been removed in a very early stage of... Well then, you tell me. What is left there? Copy! Copy each other within a certain mount of freedom, allowances, and tolerant that which is placed there within the rules.

Whenever I show my new sculpture, the only thing people here would ask me or say to me: "Oh, this must be very expensive!" "How much did you spend?" "Does your husband know about this or...?" Then: "You must be very rich." Nothing more than that. After that no one would want to know me. Everyone works hard to create a big gap...

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Compare it with the amazing and iconic Bird's Nest Stadium in Beijing... truly the result of international collaboration. It really is a wonderful and revolutionary building.

It's very nice.

But it's what can be achieved when cost and footling problems - like the demolition of entire neighbourhoods - are no object. Those days are long gone for Japan, Europe, and any developed, democratic country. If they want to hold an Olympics (and it's certainly open to debate whether that is even desirable in the first place), they have to set more realistic goals.

China's Olympics was about the glorification of China, and they weren't going to let anyone stand in the way of that. And with their political setup, they didn't have to. Other countries do.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

it ends up with an average, boring, local-looking stadium.

because of time constraint. I agree it is boring but still much better than Zaha's design, the keel arch structure of which turned out to be extremely expensive to build and maintain. The ends of keels arches have to be stuck deep into the ground but there is Toei subway. So turned out that the two ends of the keel have to be connected underground instead to keep the arch shape.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

It looks like a French cookie.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaron

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree it is boring but still much better than Zaha's design lol yeah if you want to compare a 1985 Corolla with a Ferrari, yes Zahas was expensive but it was modern looking and would hold still look that way in many years to come, the new design is just old and boring, in ten years itll look way outdated, but hey its cheap (until the cost blows out) so alls good

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I believe Sano said the same thing. Then when web-pages starting popping up showing he flat out copied others' work he said the same. We know what happened to him. This guy's already contradicting himself -- "There are zero similarities.... But because of space limitations there are automatically some similarities."

3 ( +4 / -1 )

He added that “the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities.”

I totally believe him. I think I will have a cup of green tea and contemplate on his thoughts.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

kwattJAN. 16, 2016 - 08:44AM JST It seems that all designs made by designers and all structures built in the world have all something more or less resembling or similar for each other.

It comes down to terms and condition of the signed contract. If her work is done to the expectation, she should be compensated fully. If they don't pay, simply take legal action.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@smithinjapan

This guy's already contradicting himself -- "There are zero similarities.... But because of space limitations there are automatically some similarities."

Why bother with quotation marks? You're trying to prove a contradiction by misquoting what is written in the article above, which in turn is translated out of Japanese.

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/video/2016/jan/15/tokyo-olympic-stadium-architect-denies-plagiarising-zaha-hadid-video

Maybe this architect is so dim that he doesn't know how to speak without contradiction himself, or is just not too good at self-expression. Though that would prove nothing in particular beyond a question of articulacy.

Just as easily, you could be placing far too much faith in a translated soundbite removed from the context of his actual comments. Have you tried picking apart the Japanese? Do you really think you've busted him?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

wipeout: "Why bother with quotation marks? You're trying to prove a contradiction by misquoting what is written in the article above, which in turn is translated out of Japanese."

Who said I was literally quoting? You've never heard of paraphrasing before? I would have thought that was obvious. Still, it's not far off -- but since you insist on taking DIRECTLY from the article (I mean, it IS an article about how this guy claims he's not copying, right?), I will. Now, keep in mind, I'm going to insert ellipses and keep it all on one line, leaving out the expository text and paragraph breaks, if that's okay with you:

"In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all... The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge ... the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities.”

(back to you, whom I am directly quoting) "Just as easily, you could be placing far too much faith in a translated soundbite removed from the context of his actual comments. Have you tried picking apart the Japanese? Do you really think you've busted him?"

I think he's busted himself, based on the contradictions. No way that's just a translation thing, my friend. Listened to it, and immediately after contradicting himself he quickly rushes to talk about how foreign people have a tough time understanding Japanese people in Japan (hence, suggesting he was 'misinterpreted' and/or setting up his '(Yahari!) that's not what I said!' defense for later), and how there could be a terrorist attack in Japan, etc. etc.

"Maybe this architect is so dim that he doesn't know how to speak without contradiction himself, or is just not too good at self-expression."

Obviously there is a complete lack of originality here, and it is FACT that they are ripping off Hadid -- hence they are demanding all rights to the design.

Sorry, bud, you can't defend this guy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I think he's busted himself, based on the contradictions. No way that's just a translation thing, my friend.

That's pure supposition on your part. You're holding him to what is reported here in English, and clearly he has no responsibility or control over the way his remarks, which were in Japanese, are translated by press organizations, in this case, AFP.

There is certainly more than one way to interpret what is given above, but you don't sound ready to accept that anything other than your own is possible. You conveniently "paraphrased" him to drop the reported phrase "would like to", which may be part of his acknowledgement that similarities are inevitable and that it can't be said there are no similarities. What the report provides are, in effect, separated English soundbites without the overall context, so there simply isn't enough information there to judge whether what he said in Japanese is sensible or contradictory.

With your massive Japan-shaped axe that requires daily grinding, I realize your mind is already made up on this and many other questions. But you are basing your opinion on what you think he said, when from this English-language report, it isn't possible to actually know what he said. The distinction, I have little doubt, is lost on you.

Obviously there is a complete lack of originality here, and it is FACT that they are ripping off Hadid -- hence they are demanding all rights to the design.

Yeah. That's just an opinion.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Take a few minutes and look at both architects previous works. I found both of them on Wikipedia.

It is easy to see that Zaha Hadid is more skilled and experienced. Have a look at the Stadium she designed for 2022 Fifa world cup.

Kuma's works in my opinion are a smaller projects. Recently he has been designing restaurant interiors.

An international court can look at both architects previous works, both of their designs for this stadium and the truth will be very apparent.

Architects around the world will be taking a hard look at this and thinking about Japan. I sincerely hope that Kuma and his confidants are not stealing the Hadid's genius.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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