Renowned Austrian architectural design firm Coop Himmelb(l)au [in translation "Heaven Building/Construction Cooperative”] proudly present their competition entry for Japan’s new national stadium – the Silk Leaf Stadium.

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Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

 Being one of the 11 shortlisted entries, the ‘Silk Leaf’ stadium in Tokyo shows a clever integration of tradition – the silk element, and cutting-edge design technology – generative architecture. With the use of parametric modeling, the studio highlights the design of the stadium’s most prominent feature – its roof. Using computational methods and parameters, the team have managed to achieve a balanced roof design that would span across the whole of the stadium and would meet the ground in only 4 designated points. Its visual appearance is aimed to seem like a draped surface over the arena and the seating, thus referring back to the integration of the traditional aspect of silk as part of Japanese culture and heritage.

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 Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

In addition to the fine aesthetics of their proposal, the team has aimed at re-creating the idea of the ancient Acropolis (a citadel built on a higher level) into a new type of space with a new type of function. This is hence, the essence of the concept for their design entry. Analogically to the Greek Acropolis (in Greek – ‘upper city’) which is positioned on an area of elevated ground, Coop Himmelb(l)au’s Silk Leaf stadium is positioned in the center of the city, placing the stadium’s arena on a plinth according to architect Wolf Prix, and thus turning the national stadium into a place with major roles and authority in the city of Tokyo.

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Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

The cutting-edge technology aspect mentioned above is implemented in the function of the roof. Being the focal point in the whole design, it consists of triangular openings for a maximum access of natural light into the arena. The team have taken a sustainable approach as well by placing a large retractable photovoltaic glazed section. Fascinatingly, this section of the roof can open the interior of the stadium to the sky, thus adding a new level of functionality to the whole space and thus – different kinds of occasions and events can take place, both more intimate, and very open.

By Yoana Chepisheva

Courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au

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