Eight months ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, a ceremony was held Sunday to recognize the completion of the new National Stadium. The ceremony was attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike, architect Kengo Kuma and other officials.
Designed by Kuma with a strong emphasis on environmental awareness, the venue will be open to the public on Dec 21, with a multitude of Japanese cultural displays and a visit by Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt.
The stadium, with a seating capacity of 68,000, will host the final of the Emperor's Cup soccer tournament on Jan 1, which will be its first sports event.
The opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games will be held in the stadium along with the athletic events and soccer matches. The stadium will also host events during the Paralympic Games.
The stadium was designed as a collection of pieces of wood that are small in diameter. The facade consists of overlapping, multi-layered eaves made of wood gathered from Japan’s 47 prefectures, and the roof features a truss structure which combines steel beams and laminated lumber.
Spectators will have great views of the athletes from any of the stands, which are bowl-shaped, three-layered and whose inclination gradually becomes steeper. The interior spaces are designed with warm wooden textures and even the athletes’ dressing rooms use laminated wooden materials.
Wood is omnipresent. From the plant-covered facade, the large flat roof which is a fusion of cutting- edge technology and master craftsmanship, to the eaves - one of the features of traditional Japanese construction - around the outer perimeter in order to gently blend in the stadium with the green environment.
The total cost of its construction amounted to 156.9 billion yen, under the planned 159-billion-yen budget.
Ab said he hopes the stadium, built in the first year of the new Reiwa era, will leave its mark in history. "We want to show the world what Japan is capable of doing, and use the Olympics as an opportunity to open doors to the country's future. This stadium is a perfect stage do those things," he said.
Toshiro Muto, Tokyo 2020 CEO, said: “We are very pleased that construction of the stadium – a key symbol of the Tokyo 2020 Games – has now been completed; it makes us realize just how close we are getting to the start of the Games. We appreciate the support of everyone involved in its construction, including the national government, the Japan Sport Council and so many others."© Japan Today