Kengo Kuma

(P1) A new, more SCALED-DOWN design has been chosen for the main stadium at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

(P2) SPIRALING costs had forced the SCRAPPING of RENOWNED architect Zaha Hadid’s FUTURISTIC original design.

(P3) The new design, by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma (above), will cost 149bn yen ($1.2bn; £825m) to build.

Zaha Hadid

(P4) Ms Hadid’s plan (above) would have cost 252bn yen, making it the world’s most expensive sports VENUE.

(P5) The scrapping of the design caused a disagreement that eventually led to the resignation of Japan’s Education and Sports Minister Hakubun Shimomura in October.

(P6) Mr Kuma’s design ECHOES the style of Japanese TEMPLES, with a low steel and wood structure SURROUNDED by trees. It will sit more than 20 metres lower than the previous design and supporters say it fits better with its immediate environment, which includes the GREENERY around the nearby Meiji Shrine.

(P7) “I think this is a wonderful plan that meets all our CRITERIA, including cost,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said when he announced the choice.

Toyo Ito

(P8) It beat a RIVAL design by architect Toyo Ito (above). That too was simpler than Ms Hadid’s design.

(P9) Construction of the new design will need to be complete by January 2020, ahead of the Olympic Games’ start in July that year.

(P10) 68,000 SPECTATORS will pack the stadium, though that can be expanded to 80,000 if needed. The old design also had a CAPACITY of 80,000 and was expected to host the final of the RUGBY World Cup in 2019.

(P11) The new stadium will not be ready in time to host that event.

WORDS: 260



If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Which of these three Olympic stadium designs do you like the best?
  3. What is the largest stadium that you have ever been to?
  4. If the Olympic Games took place in your country, would you try to attend even though tickets are very expensive?
  5. Large construction projects always have COST OVERRUNS. Why is this true?


What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Scaled-down
  • Cost overrun

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  1. Pingback: WEEK 69 | Cambly's Curated Articles

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