Two months after Zaha Hadid’s $2 billion design for the 2020 Olympic Stadium in Tokyo was scrapped, the architect announced her firm will no longer participate in the competition for a new design.
“It is disappointing,” Zaha Hadid Architects wrote in a statement released today, “that the two years of work and investment in the existing design for a new National Stadium for Japan cannot be further developed to meet the new brief through the new design competition.”
Earlier this month, Hadid’s firm partnered with Japanese architecture and engineering firm Nikken Sekkei to develop a new design for the national stadium “in partnership with a committed construction contractor,” the firm wrote, to create “the most cost-effective delivery plan that ensures the New National Stadium is ready in good time for the preparations ahead of Tokyo 2020.”
But finding a contractor willing to sign on proved to be the plan’s undoing.
“Nikken Sekkei and Zaha Hadid Architects have not been able to secure a construction company in its consortium and therefore announce that they are unable to enter the competition,” the companies said in the statement announcing their official withdrawal from the design competition.
Hadid’s stadium plan has been fraught from the outset. Last fall, after Hadid reduced the initial design in size and drama, architect Arata Isozaki publically joined a growing cadre of architects opposed to the project’s development. “What remains is a dull, slow form,” Isozaki wrote. “If the stadium gets built the way it is, Tokyo will surely be burdened with a gigantic white elephant.”
Read the full statement from Zaha Hadid Architects and Nikken Sekkei explaining their decision to quit the contest here.