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Tokyo Olympic Stadium Architect Responds to Zaha Hadid’s Accusations

After being replaced as designer of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium project, Zaha Hadid accused the new architect, Kengo Kuma, and his team of borrowing parts of her original design, as previously reported. The Japanese government had scrapped her design due to costs and perceived unpopularity with the public.

Kengo Kuma has now responded to the claims by Hadid’s office that his design has striking similarities to Hadid’s original. Speaking to reporters, he said “In the design, I would like to say there are no similarities at all… The conditions set for the competition mean that automatically some similarities emerge,” adding that “the concept is completely different, so it is absolutely a different building, despite the similarities.”

Hadid has also complained that the Japan Sports Council has withheld payment for her work and is demanding that she waive any copyright claims if she wishes to be paid. Her office has said it would “take legal action if our concerns are not promptly addressed to our satisfaction.” The consortium working on the new stadium includes two Japanese companies that had earlier worked with Hadid when she was the designer.