Zaha Hadid Architects

The famed architect's vision for Tokyo's New National Stadium is gorgeous and a little intimidating.

Did a UFO abduct Zaha Hadid? Because her vision for this Tokyo stadium looks like a xenomorphic dreadnaught flown in from Nebulon 7.

Perhaps due to their interest in horrible tentacles and ultra-strange monsters, the Japanese absolutely loved the out-of-this-world structure. Today, the Japan Sport Council announced that it was choosing Zaha Hadid Architects to execute a radical makeover of the National Stadium, originally built to house the 1964 Summer Olympics. Hadid's firm won out in an international competition against 10 other finalists, and now must prepare this magnificent but slightly fear-breeding stadium in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and – if Japan gets lucky with its bid – the 2020 Olympic Games.

The Sport Council praised Hadid's proposed venue for its "innovative and fluid design that expresses a sense of dynamism appropriate for sporting activities." The judges were also smitten by the roof that slides back for open-air concerts, a towering arch that they said would "challenge" the country's engineers, and environmentally friendly elements like greywater use, geothermal heat and a rainwater cooling system. The biggest selling point, though, was a bevy of mega-thrusters located below the turf that will allow the stadium to soar through the exosphere with all 80,000 fans still inside, bound for a brave new world. To space, and beyond!

Here are renderings of the sleek megalith soon landing in Tokyo:

Renderings by Zaha Hadid Architects.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    CityLab University: Inclusionary Zoning

    You’ve seen the term. But do you really know what it means? Here’s your essential primer.

  2. Equity

    Mobile Home Owners Find a Lifeline Against Displacement

    When a landlord sells a mobile home park, it can upend an entire community. Through co-ops, residents are finding a way to stay where they live and control their rent costs.

  3. A view from outside a glass office tower at dusk of the workers inside.
    Life

    Cities and the Vertical Economy

    Vertical clustering—of certain high-status industries on the higher floors of buildings, for example—is an important part of urban agglomeration.

  4. Life

    Don’t Throw It Away—Take It to the Repair Cafe

    This series of workshops aims to keep broken items out of the landfill, and it might help you save a few bucks, too.

  5. POV

    What ‘Skyscraper’ Doesn’t Get About Skyscrapers

    The Rock’s new movie should have gotten more thrills out of high-rise design, an engineer argues.