Architect of Tokyo 2020 stadium says his design not a copy
Japan Today -- Jan 16
Kengo Kuma, the architect of Japan's new 2020 Olympics stadium, refuted allegations by British-Iraqi designer Zaha Hadid that his design borrowed from blueprints she made and which organizers dropped last year.

"In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all," Kuma told reporters when asked Friday about complaints by London-based Zaha Hadid Architects over apparent similarities between her design and Kuma's.

Kuma noted, however, that both architects had to meet strict specifications for the new, 80,000-seat structure in downtown Tokyo that will replace Japan's old National Stadium.

"The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge," he said. He added that "the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities."

Hadid's company on Thursday said that the Japan Sport Council was withholding money owed for work on the 2020 Tokyo stadium design, while demanding her company give up claims to copyrights.

After her original design was rejected as too costly, Hadid complained the new design chosen by the sport council, made by Kengo Kuma & Associates, in collaboration with two companies that earlier worked with her team, was similar.

News source: Japan Today
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