Thu, Nov 08, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Roof raised at gymnastics venue for Tokyo Olympics

Reuters, TOKYO

The second section of the timber roof of the Olympic Gymnastic Centre for the 2020 Summer Olympics is raised in Tokyo yesterday.

Photo: AP

The second section of the timber roof at the Olympic Gymnastic Centre in Tokyo was raised yesterday, marking the halfway point of the construction of the temporary venue.

The roof of the 10,000-seat venue, which is to host gymnastics at the Olympics and boccia in the Paralympics, is to be raised in 200-tonne sections with all five scheduled to be in place by May.

Construction at the venue is due to be completed by the end of October next year — in time for test events ahead of the summer showpiece.

Tokyo 2020 organizers said construction was right on track, even if they still felt a huge amount of pressure to deliver the venue on time.

“As you can see, if you look around, the construction work is progressing very speedily,” director of venue development Toshihiro Hosokawa said. “Next year, at the end of October, the center will be completed, so there is only a year to go, hence my mixed feelings.”

The venue, located in the Ariake District of the Japanese capital that is to host many other Olympic events, would be used as an exhibition center when the Games are over.

However, it is only a temporary structure designed to be dismantled by 2030.

To make it easier for the materials to be recycled and also to showcase Japan’s timber industry, the roof, which spans 90m, is made from local larch.

The head architect on the project, Hidemichi Takahashi, said sustainability was at the heart of the design.

“The design has a view on post-usage after the Games,” Takahashi said. “No major changes are needed for it to be used after the Games.”

“From an eco-friendly point of view, this venue uses the most amount of wood out of all the Tokyo 2020 venues,” he added.

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