Tokyo Olympic stadium architect defends similarities to Zaha Hadid's original designs

Kengo Kuma, design for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium, Courtesy Japan Sport Council

Tokyo Olympic stadium architect Kengo Kuma has denied claims from the office of architect Zaha Hadid that elements of his new design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium have been copied from initial stadium architect Zaha Hadid's original designs, The Guardian has reported. Hadid's designs were scrapped last year due to escalating building costs. The consortium working on the new stadium includes two Japanese companies that earlier worked with Hadid.

Hadid, who won the 2016 Royal Gold Medal for architecture has also complained that the Japan Sports Council was withholding payment for her work to date and demanding that she waive any copyright claims.

“The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge,” Kuma is reported as saying, adding that “the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities”. Kuma has declined to comment on the issue of copyright.

18 January 2016