When it comes to protests against commercial development, architects are the last people one would expect to find in the crowd. Yet a group of Japanese architects are leading the charge against the massive Olympic Stadium designed by Zaha Hadid for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Led by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, a group of accomplished design firms are speaking out against the proposed 80,000-seat stadium, which will be a focal point for the Olympic Games. Apparently, the designers are horrified by way the stadium dwarfs its surroundings, which include the iconic stadium from the 1964 Olympics.

Zaha Hadid Tokyo Olympic Stadium 2020
Image via Zaha Hadid

It’s worth noting that Zaha Hadid’s Olympic Stadium design is not new construction, but rather a retrofit of the existing National Stadium in Tokyo. As Olympic Games continue to strive for greater sustainability, it was no surprise to learn that the retrofit would include a geothermal energy system as well as greywater recycling technologies. These improvements weren’t enough for the disgruntled architects, however, several of whom had submitted their own stadium designs but lost.

“I hope that this protest is successful in shrinking the design to fit the context,” Sou Fujimoto told the Architects’ Journal (£). “I’m not fighting Zaha. The competition for the stadium was very rigorous and we can’t overturn everything. But the design could be better.”

The protesting architects have formed a symposium to present their ideas for improvement. Titled ‘Re-thinking the New National Olympic Stadium in the historical context of Gaien,’ the discussion takes October 11th and will be streamed live via the Ustream website.

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