A few words of praise: Congratulations to the Japanese athletes who helped Japan achieve its highest ever Olympics medal tally in London. おめでとうございます。
Now that the XXX Olympiad – or London 2012 – has come to a close and the torch passed to Brazil for 2016, the push to secure the rights for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games will no doubt intensify.
Tokyo is one of the cities nominating for 2020 and Japan has a long Olympic association, Tokyo having been initially selected to host the 1940 Olympiad – although those games never eventuated due to the circumstances of the Second World War – and hosting the 1964 Summer Olympics. The 1972 Winter Games were held in Sapporo and the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano. Japan also made three unsuccessful Olympic bids, including for the 2016 Summer Games.
Witnessing the London 2012 closing ceremony, it looks as if the Brazil Olympics are going to be the fun games, infused with the Latin Americans’ characteristic joie de vivre. Tokyo 2020 would no doubt be an experience of superlative organization and hospitality, infrastructure and technologies, culture and cuisine – and hopefully some breathtaking additions to the city’s architecture.
The 1964 Olympics gave the city one of its most beautiful, timeless landmark structures, Kenzo Tange’s architectural masterwork: the Yoyogi National Stadium.
The Kokuritsu Yoyogi Kyōgi-jō - 国立代々木競技場 – as it’s formally known, comprises a pair of flowing spiral pavilions and is the result of a brilliant design concept that drapes the structures’ roofs over cables suspended between towering pillars. The resulting concrete and steel buildings remain iconic examples of futuristic modernist architecture, yet convey the traditional temple architecture of Japan’s past.
The design concept is brilliantly visualised in this almost meditative animation by Harvard University design students that shows the engineering genius behind the building’s construction.
From the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
It would be good to see Tokyo awarded the 2020 Olympic Games; the Yoyogi National Stadium become an Olympic venue once again; and a worthy architectural successor constructed for them.