Info & Photography: Courtesy Tokujin Yoshioka
Tokujin Yoshioka shares with IAnD readers a very personal, emotional and philosophical concept that he wished to propose for the new national stadium for 2020 Tokyo Olympics…
From setting foot into his first major project, to stepping right into the doorway of a previously controversial site – the Tokyo Olympic Stadium, which has received its fair share of negative publicity (Zaha Hadid quit the project following a furore about its cost and construction); Tokujin Yoshioka – who was even now not permitted to submit his design (as the competition called for a design-build format) - has a unique concept to share.
In the words of Tokujin, “I regard the creation of an idea as a personal challenge, just as an athlete challenges the limitations of humankind. Its realization is a moment of joy and happiness! This design was created with a sense of appreciation for the joy creation brings, for being born in this age. This design is a depiction of my feelings for the future.”
Tokujin envisions the New National Stadium as a ‘floating fountain’ - a piece of architecture transformed into a platform for the Olympic flame.
Looking to base his design on “experience born out of heightened human sensation and time”, and keeping pace with the role of technology in perpetrating challenging design typologies, Tokujin rightfully surmises that design has no definitive answers; it grows like a living being – constantly and with changing priorities; his ideologies in keeping with his works, which often transcend the boundaries of product design, architecture, and exhibition installation, and are also highly evaluated as art.
This design - mysterious, lean, and minimalistic – fuses the beauty of the four seasons, being one with nature. It draws from the spirit of “Japanese tea rooms” that epitomizes finely-honed Japanese beauty. The Outer Gardens of Meiji Shrine that have been loved by Japanese people since ancient times has been an inspirational take-off point.
So, the double circular ring that constitutes the open roof of the stadium has a water body and a fire ring running alongside. When the stadium is not in use, visitors can enjoy strolling and jogging along the tranquil water’s edge amid the greenery of the outer gardens, whilst during the summer, the cooling effect of the water can also be used to avert untoward mishaps, if any.
“At the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, it can be reborn as a huge platform for the Olympic Flame, a symbol of courage and hope to people all over the world,” he concludes.