Leadership / 07.28.21
The Stage Is Set (But the Seats Won't Be Full)
VenuesNow (07/19/21) Gottfried, Gideon
Journalist and civil engineer Dave Parker says Tokyo's Olympic Stadium differs from other Olympic venues in that it incorporates structural timber in the roof structure, a uniquely Japanese design point. "It's a fairly conventional stadium, which was fairly straightforward to build on time and within budget, which is quite an achievement for Olympic stadiums," he muses. In comparison, the stadium built for the 1964 Olympics was built under the auspices of a major urban regeneration project surrounding the games. "They could afford it at the time — they were going through an economic boom — and were recovering from the damage from World War II," Parker says. "This was a perfect excuse to show the world that they were back in business." The 2019 Tokyo stadium was designed by the late architect Zaha Hadid, but Parker agrees that it likely grated against the tastes of conservatively-minded architects and politicians. Among the biggest changes Parker perceives in stadium design is the use of artificial running surfaces, which provides more consistency; floodlighting to ensure sufficient brightness for color TV cameras; better overall infield quality; and huge numbers of cameras. "One big [development] in all-seated stadia ... are screens at every seat, so you can watch action replays not just on the big screen," he notes.
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Tags: Olympics , News