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Japanese Architects Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Stadium in Tokyo

An online petition hopes to save Tokyo's existing stadium and gardens, which are slated for demolition soon.

Japanese Architects Petition Against Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Stadium in Tokyo

From its inception, architect Zaha Hadid’s design for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo was met with controversy. Tokyo-based architect Toyo Ito and Pritzker Prize-winning Fumihiko Maki have since organized an online petition to halt the construction of the new sports arena.* They propose, instead, saving the city’s existing Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium, which is scheduled to be demolished in July to make way for the new project.

The architects are arguing that the proposed stadium, which will be as tall as a 20-story skyscraper when complete, will be totally out of scale to its location and will ruin the Meiji Shrine Outer Gardens, while forcing residents of the nearby Kasumigaoka Public Housing facility to relocate. The petition also states that the 130 billion yen price tag will divert resources from the relief efforts of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster. Hence, the petition calls for a "more greener and democratic" alternative. Rather than spend taxpayer money on a new stadium, Ito and other architects propose renovating the existing one.

It’s not everyday that architects petition against another architect's design in this way, (though feuding among architects is not entirely unheard of.) At the time of this writing, the petition had over 14,000 signatures. But Hadid’s design does have its supporters: architect Tadao Ando helped to select the design over 10 other finalists.

For more information on the petition, visit

[H/T to designboom]

[*A previous version of this story made it sound as though the petition had just launched, when in fact, it's been active for several months.]