Architect Zaha Hadid’s plan for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic Stadium is officially dead.
From the beginning, Hadid’s proposed design was controversial. The 20-story megastructure, which resembled a futuristic robot Macross vagina from above, was derided for forcing residents of the nearby Kasumigaoka Public Housing facility to be relocated, as well as its hefty price tag, which critics said diverted money that could have been used to help clean up the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant Disaster.
Today, it appears that the critics have won. According to the Guardian, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe announced that the project would be restarted from scratch due to spiraling costs: Hadid’s plan for 2020 Olympic Stadium had recently breached $2 billion.
Zaha Hadid Architects tried to downplay its role in the expanding price tag. “It is not the case that the recently reported cost increases are due to the design, which uses standard materials and techniques well within the capability of Japanese contractors and meets the budget set by the Japan Sports Council,” the firm said in a statement.
Whatever the story, Hadid’s design was widely reviled by high-profile Japanese architects like Toyo Ito, Sou Fujimoto, Kengo Kuma and Fumihiko Maki, who petitioned to have the project scrapped for its “outsize” scale, which would have dwarfed Kenzo Tange’s 1964 Olympic Stadium. And in 2014, 500 people hit the street to protest the construction.