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Tokyo breaks ground on Kengo Kuma’s Olympic Stadium

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Despite a rocky start, Kengo Kuma has finally broken ground on the Tokyo Olympic Stadium that will host the 2020 event. Renderings for the $1.5 billion project show a light and airy stadium covered in a beautiful lattice of locally-grown larch wood often seen in traditional Japanese architecture.

The new stadium will pay homage to traditional Japanese design, namely the wooden latticework often seen in Japanese shrines and pagodas. According to initial descriptions of the project, much of the building will be constructed with prefabricated panels and will be strategically structured to minimize heating and cooling costs.

The stadium project was initially awarded to now-deceased Zaha Hadid, whose vision included an environmentally-conscious retrofit of the country’s existing stadium into a modern, fluid design. However, due to escalating costs and local outcry against the design, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe axed Hadid’s $2 billion project in favor of Kengo Kuma’s vision.

The stadium is slated for completion in November 2019.

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