UK architects on blocks for Tokyo 2020

Building Design reports that Aecom, Farrells, And Architecture and 3D Reid are among interested practices to put in bids to make their mark on Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics.

British practices are scrambling to pick up work at the 2020 Olympics after Tokyo trounced Madrid and Istanbul to be named host city.

Japan has committed to spending $4.5 billion on 10 new venues, on top of the $1 billion national stadium being designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, which will host the athletics and the opening and closing ceremonies.

Aecom immediately announced that it wanted to repeat its masterplanning work on the London and Rio games by winning the deal for Tokyo.

Much of Aecom’s Olympics work is carried out in its London office and David Glover, the firm’s chief executive of building engineering, which includes architecture, confirmed: “We’re putting together a team to look at Tokyo.”

Aecom helped on the Istanbul bid but Glover said this wouldn’t put it off bidding for work at Tokyo. “We’ve got a great track record in this and winning cities always follow best practice.”

It picked up the contract to masterplan the Rio 2016 Olympic Park two years ago — while it was still carrying out work on the London games — and is currently working on the deal with Expedition Engineering and Wilkinson Eyre. The latter has also expressed interest in Tokyo.

Manuel Nogueira’s And Architects is one of the smaller practices looking to bid, following its success at London and Rio.

“The minute I heard the announcement I booked an appointment with the UKTI’s Tokyo representative, who’s visiting London in November,” Nogueira said.

Other practices that have signalled an interest include 3D Reid, which has an advisory role at Rio, and Farrells, whose directors are already in talks with its Hong Kong office about a “strategic offering”.

“This is a great opportunity for British firms to market themselves and the experience of London 2012,” said director Max Farrell.

Tokyo’s bid was lent an air of glamour by Zaha Hadid’s glossy images of the redeveloped 1964 Kasumigaoka National Stadium, which will open in 2019 in time for the Rugby World Cup.

Tadao Ando, who chaired the selection jury, predicted the “dynamic and futuristic design” would turn the stadium into a “shrine for world sport for the next 100 years”.

But at least 10 new permanent venues remain up for grabs, along with infrastructure improvements and refurbishment work on existing sites. The total spend is estimated at $8 billion. 

Written by David Rogers and Elizabeth Hopkirk, Building Design ( Original article can be found at: