Stadiums are large structures that need to continue to represent the city as well as the nation they belong to for many generations. Olympic events on the other hand are fleeting in nature as they last for a few weeks only. Giving the stadium a temporary image would fail to respond to future generations who will continue to use the stadium. Giving the stadium an image that celebrates the past captures the future at a single moment in history. Designing a national stadium presents an architect with the impossibility of using symbolism to design for present as well as future society. It is with this in mind that we have generated the new Tokyo National Stadium without reference to outside symbols but through the coincidence of physical and environmental factors that enable sport to be played and watched at the highest level of excellence, such as moving through the park to access the stadium, circulating within the venue and between levels, the structure of the grand stand, viewing of a match, playing games in the most optimum environment. It is those factors alone that determine the design and embed it with an inbuilt logic through which all generations, today and future, will experience it.
Stadium in the Park
We have approached the design of the overall site around the concept of the “Stadium in the Park”, where the stadium is placed within a continuous green landscape that mediates between different levels of the site with its various slopes and berms and two land bridges that cross over the Tokyo Metropolitan Road No. 418, and over Ward Route 43-690 to the south. This will create a continuous and uninterrupted circulation route for spectators and recreational visitors alike. This landscape is structured by the lines of flow of crowds between the different entry points to the site and 8 ticketing points around the stadium. From each one of these ticketing points, crowds are distributed via sloped routes to 12 entrances to the stadium at the podium level and to 6 entrances at the upper concourse level. From each one of the 12 entrances at podium level, escalators zigzag to the upper concourse, ensuring that crowds are not only evenly distributed to their seats, but also that they are fully immersed in the park experience as they ascend to their seats.
The design will complement and enhance the landscape, environment and community. We are using nature as a guide to shape and style the structures and as a philosophy and ethics for the spaces. Thepark will create additional green spaces, protect and enhance biodiversity and become a focal point of green corridors within the city and surrounding the stadium. We will develop an urban park that is beautiful, peaceful and practical place for visitors and the local community. The landscape of the park is differentiated into areas that are closer to the subway stations and the surrounding neighborhood and more urban in character and others that would be more open and green. These distinctions within the different park areas will enable the park to be programmed with different activities and ecologies. This solution efficiently addresses the need for urban connections, while fostering a rich and varied landscape design for the park.The system of sloped routes designed to meet crowd flow produce leaf shaped berms throughout the park topography. These are utilized to host outdoor amphitheaters for crowds to watch the games on outdoor screens or other smaller performances. They are also used to house the ticket offices, storage for park event equipment, bike sheds as well as food kiosks throughout the park.