Thu, Jul 19, 2018 - Page 16 News List

New Tokyo stadium for 2020 Games at 40 percent: council

AP, TOKYO

The Japan Sport Council yesterday gave a progress report on the New National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, saying that the project is 40 percent complete with two years to go before the opening ceremony.

Located in central Tokyo, the Olympic stadium is to be the centerpiece of the 2020 Games.

The council, the government-funded stadium operator, said that the 68,000-seat stadium is on schedule to be finished in November next year.

It is to host the opening ceremony on July 24, 2020, as well as athletics and the closing ceremony.

Construction was more than one year behind schedule when it started in December 2016, as an earlier stadium plan was scrapped because of spiraling costs and unpopular design.

The Japanese government then approved the new ¥150 billion (US$1.33 billion) stadium, which is a joint venture among Taisei Corp, Azusa Sekkei Co and the office of Kengo Kuma, the architect who designed the replacement.

The construction site has about 2,000 workers on an average day, but that would be increased to 3,000, the council said.

The biggest hurdle to overcome now is construction of the stadium’s roof, which is to cover spectator seating and is considered to be the most difficult aspect of the project, council officials said.

“The most challenging part from now is installing the roof,” Tadashi Mochizuki said. “Of the whole 15 months of the work period for the roof, we still have nine more months to go. We are installing the roof, divided as four parts. We have to install the parts without an inch of mistake.”

For the roof, Kuma chose a wooden lattice design that echoed traditional styles seen in Japanese shrines and pagodas. It is intended to blend in with surrounding parkland and would be structured to minimize costs for heating and cooling.

Tokyo organizers earlier this week said that all the newly constructed venues for the Games are 20 to 40 percent complete.

The Olympic Village is to have 21 apartment-type buildings and provide 18,000 beds for the Olympics and 8,000 for the Paralympics.

It is 40 percent completed and would be finished in December next year, organizers said.

After the Olympics, two 50-story buildings are to be developed and sold to the public as residential units.

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