You will have to hand it over to the Japanese to be frugal, where resources are concerned. The catastrophe that besieged Japan in the form of tsunami and earthquakes in 2011, destroyed acres of forest in no less than its 47 prefectures. Not one to let such priceless natural resource go waste, the officials decided to use this cedarwood in building the main Tokyo Olympic 2020 stadium.
This stadium is located in the center of Tokyo on the exact site of the stadium built for the 1964 Summer Olympics, officially called the Games of the XVIII Olympiad. It will be used both for the opening and closing ceremonies and for athletics and football.
This stadium, with a capacity of 60,000 fans, costs $1.4 billion. It is being designed by the renowned Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, after the bid of $2 billion by the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid was rejected in July 2015 amidst public outrage. This would have made it the most expensive stadium in the world.
The stadium is set to use 2,000 cubic meters of cedarwood, all brought from those 47 prefectures in the northern Tohoku region. The design of this stadium emulates the 1,300-year-old five-story pagoda located at Horyuji temple in western Nara prefecture, the oldest wooden building in the world. The stadium will be adorned by andon (lantern for Japanese) lights on the concourse, shoji and lattice screens in the VIP lounge and wooden ceilings and walls to reflect the Japanese culture.
What the Japanese officials fear is Tokyo’s sweltering summer heat that easily touches 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). The good news is by using the cedarwood from devastated forests, this stadium will be able to counter excessive heat by its nature-inspired design that includes the ‘Grand Eaves of the Wind’, a top roof layer meant to let in the wind to cool down the temperature inside the stadium. In addition, the stadium will be equipped with 185 large fans and mist emitters at eight locations for cooling.
By the looks of it, the main stadium for Olympics 2020 is poised to set a benchmark in architectural beauty.