Olympics: National Stadium launched ahead of 2020 Tokyo Games
TOKYO. KAZINFORM - Japan's National Stadium was officially completed Saturday, when the centerpiece of next summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics was handed over to its owner and operator, Japan Sport Council.
A creation of Japanese architect Kengo Kuma's office, construction giant Taisei Corp. and design firm Azusa Sekkei Co., the stadium was completed in 36 months for 157 billion yen ($1.4 billion).
The stadium with five stories above ground level and two floors below, is the latest incarnation of Japanese sports' spiritual home to be built in the neighborhood. It replaces the previous National Stadium used as the main venue of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, which had taken the place of Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium. This latter venue had been a point of departure for students leaving for World War II battlefronts, Kyodo reported.
Domestic lumber and abundant plantings help the 47.4-meter-high woodland-themed stadium blend in with the surrounding greenery of central Tokyo's Meiji Jingu Gaien area.
The 60,000 seats, colored in five different earth tones, create a mosaic representing sunbeams filtering through a forest.
JSC is proud that the stadium meets «the world's highest 'universal design' standards.» Careful attention paid to the accessibility guideline published by Olympics and Paralympics organizers has created a quality environment for spectators, regardless of age or disability.
As a result of more than 20 hearings with disability organizations, toilet seat heights were adjusted upward by 1 centimeter, while Braille signs in elevators were posted 2 millimeters higher.
The stadium's first floor is on ground level, facilitating smooth access to wheelchair users and those with mobility issues. The height of the 500 seats for wheelchair users has been set so even standing spectators in front of them will not obstruct their view.
A large number of WiFi hot spots have been installed, allowing some 30,000 users simultaneous connections in order to cope with the anticipated high demand due to mass access to social media sites for text and video.
The 850-meter fifth-floor concourse that encircles the stadium will be open to the public after the games when no events are being held. From there, visitors can enjoy seasonal vistas such as the spring's cherry blossoms and the brilliant colors of changing autumn leaves as well as the Shinjuku skyline, Tokyo Sky Tree and Mt. Fuji.
After undergoing post-Olympic renovations, the stadium is scheduled to start commercial operation in the latter half of 2022, available for sporting and cultural events.