Construction of the US$1.4 billion main Tokyo Olympic venue has officially been completed and is set to fight excessive heat with a nature-inspired design, the Japan Sport Council said yesterday.
Japan’s summer heat is a major concern for Tokyo Olympic officials, with doctors warning that the Games could see deadly medical emergencies.
The five-story stadium, designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, has capacity for 60,000 people and nods to traditional techniques through the prominent use of wood.
About 2,000m3 of cedar wood was brought in from all of Japan’s 47 prefectures, with an emphasis on wood from the northern Tohoku region hit by a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
The use of layered wooden canopies is also a reference to the 1,300-year-old five-story pagoda at Horyuji Temple in Nara Prefecture, the oldest wooden building in the world.
“Today, we were able to welcome the completion of the new national stadium,” said the council, which in charge of the project.
“The new history will begin,” it said in a statement.
The venue features the “Grand Eaves of the Wind,” a top roof layer designed to let in wind and cool the inside of the stadium. One hundred and eighty-five large fans have also been set up and cooling mist emitters are installed at eight locations.
Athletes and spectators face the sweltering Tokyo summer, during which the mercury can easily reach 40°C.
The main stadium — used for the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as athletics and some soccer matches — has been built in the center of Tokyo on the site of the stadium used for the 1964 Tokyo Games.
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