The new National Stadium was officially completed late November last year when the centerpiece for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics was handed over to its owner and operator -the Japan Sport Council. Created by architect Kengo Kuma’s office, construction giant Taisei Corp. and design firm Azusa Sekkei Co., the stadium was completed in 36 months at a cost of USD 1.4 billion (¥157 billion).
With the handover complete, the stadium is now called the National Stadium. Five storeys above ground level and two below, the project is the latest incarnation of Japanese sports’ spiritual home to be built in the neighborhood. It replaces the National Stadium that was used as the main venue for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which in turn took the place of Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium. The latter served as a point of departure for students leaving for battlefronts during World War II.
Domestic lumber and abundant plants help the 47.4-meter-high woodland-themed stadium blend in with the surrounding greenery of Tokyo’s Meiji Jingu Gaien area. The forest of Jingu inherit the historic greenery spreading from the Inner Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine to the Imperial Palace. To preserve the precious greenery of the area, the architect conceived the building as a ‘living tree’ rooted in the earth, one that will stand the test of time a 100 years from now.
The stadium, surrounded by the abundant greenery of the Outer Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine, forms a green network spreading from the Inner Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine to the Imperial Palace through the Shinjuku Imperial Gardens and the Akasaka Detached Palace. In addition, by utilizing features of the location where the Forest of the Outer Garden of Meiji Jingu Shrine and the Town of the urban area are in contact with each other, the Forest of the Earth will be developed in harmony with the surrounding greenery.