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: Mayor Luigi Brugnaro walks on St Mark's Square as exceptionally high tidal flooding engulfed the city.
    Environment

    Venice Faces ‘Apocalyptic’ Flooding

    Seasonal acqua alta reached the highest level since 1966, leaving two dead and devastating damage. The city’s ambitious flood barrier isn’t ready yet.

  2. photo: A metro train at Paris' Gare Du Nord.
    Transportation

    Can the Paris Metro Make Room for More Riders?

    The good news: Transit ridership is booming in the French capital. But severe crowding now has authorities searching for short-term solutions.

  3. A view of a Harlem corner.
    Equity

    How Ronald Reagan Halted the Early Anti-Gentrification Movement

    An excerpt from Newcomers, a new book by Matthew L. Schuerman, documents the early history of the anti-gentrification and back-to-the-city movements.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. photo: A woman crosses an overpass above the 101 freeway in Los Angeles, California.
    Transportation

    Navigation Apps Changed the Politics of Traffic

    In an excerpt from the new book The Future of Transportation, CityLab’s Laura Bliss adds up the “price of anarchy” when it comes to traffic navigation apps.

×