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. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

  2. Equity

    What ‘Livability’ Looks Like for Black Women

    Livability indexes can obscure the experiences of non-white people. CityLab analyzed the outcomes just for black women, for a different kind of ranking.

  3. photo: Developer James Rouse visiting Harborplace in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
    Life

    What Happened to Baltimore’s Harborplace?

    The pioneering festival marketplace was among the most trendsetting urban attractions of the last 40 years. Now it’s looking for a new place in a changed city.

  4. Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.
    Transportation

    The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

    The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.

  5. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

×