IN: Inspiration

2020 Tokyo Stadium looks to V&A Dundee

Japan to echo elements of Scotland’s newest concrete museum.


In anticipation of the 2020 Olympics that will be held in Tokyo, a new Japanese National Stadium is currently under construction for the games. The concrete design envisioned for the stadium will echo the style of the Scottish V&A Dundee Museum, a recently erected 80 million GBP (about R1,437,017,975.58)structure, built to resemble a jagged Scottish cliff face.

The V&A Dundee’s architect Kengo Kuma and leading engineers, British firm Arup, have teamed up again to create the new Japanese National Stadium for the Olympics. According to Kuma, new 3D modelling tools were developed to create the unique shape and façade of the V&A Dundee, and the same tools will make it possible to create the curving geometries of the new stadium in Tokyo.

PPC Imaginarium

The V&A Dundee is shaped like two inverted pyramids joining at the top level to form gallery spaces. Its twisted and folded features allow for double curved walls, of which no two are alike. Concrete planks are fixed to the twisting facade of the building, in order to look like a jagged cliff. Gavin Kerr, an associate at Arup, claimed that the museum boasts a total of ten kilometers of concrete wrapped around the building.

The new Japanese National Stadium will be a large oval shape formed by layers of latticed larch wood, with trees planted on each level. A steel canopy will extend over the stalls, forming a central oculus, or central opening.

Kuma has purposefully used both natural materials such as wood, combined with concrete and new technology to build the stadium, proving that even large structures can use natural materials. His intent is to showcase “a new way of designing big buildings.”

PPC Imaginarium

The architect believes that “natural materials and new technology should be friends. If we can combine both,” he argues, “we can bring nature to big cities. Without that kind of collaboration, we humans cannot survive.”

All images © Japan Sport Council

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