National Stadium Japan


Tokyo, Japan, 2012

Located within the largest green zone in Tokyo, which already houses numerous sporting venues, the design for the new stadium is fully integrated with both its urban context and the existing buildings on the location.
The overriding concept in UNStudio’s design for the new National Stadium is ‘Duality’. The design embeds the notion of duality through the fusion of components on all levels; the transparent and the opaque; the natural landscape and the artificiality of the building; sustainability with cutting-edge design; visitor and local inhabitant; player and spectator; local and global.
The design for the stadium presents a compact bowl design with an incorporated retractable roof.  Retractable seating is also incorporated in the first tier of the spectator stands.  The asymmetry of the roof and bowl of the stadium allow for a lower building height on the west side adjacent to the residential area and a higher level on the more open east side, from which views can be enjoyed of the skyline of Tokyo’s main high-rise Shinjuku.
In order to ensure the exceptional condition and maintenance of the turf and to avoid damage to the playing field surface during large scale concerts and events, a system whereby the turf can be rolled via a long ramp to an exterior nursery setting has been incorporated into the design.
Careful attention has been paid to ensure the efficient circulation of large numbers of people by means of a raised pedestrian entrance level. Vehicular traffic flows, loading bays and parking facilities are located separately under the main pedestrian level.
Systems for heating and cooling, which harvest benefits from climatic conditions whilst simultaneously requiring less energy have been incorporated into the sustainable strategy for the stadium. The high levels of rainwater which fall in the area will be collected and stored in hot and cold wells for use in cooling and warming the building. The semi-transparent skin of the stadium allows natural lighting and therefore reduces the need for artificial illumination, whilst the very compact bowl design and economical arch structures reduce the amount of material used in construction.


Client: Japan Sport Council
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Building surface: Ca. 290.000 m2
Building volume: Ca. 3.9 million m3
Building site: Construction Site 113.000 m2. Relevant Site 209.000 m2
Programme: New National Stadium Japan. Capacity 80.000. Replacement of 1964 Stadium for 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and for application for Olympic Games 2020
Status: Competition entry, finalist.


Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Frans van Vuure, Filippo Lodi and Jan Kokol, Tina Kortmann, Wendy van der Knijff

Local Architect: Yamashita Sekkei Inc. (JV with UNStudio)
Stadium Engineering: Arup
Stadium Facilities: Amsterdam Arena
Urban Planning: Tokyo City University, Faculty of Urban Life Studies
Landscape design: Placemedia, Landscape Architects Collaborative

Visualisation: MIR