The stadium design proposed by Iraqi-British superstar architect Zaha Hadid for the 2020 Olympics in Japan has been eliminated due to cost.

The design, which resembles an alien helmet, was one of the main points that catapulted Tokyo to being a prime contender for the Olympics over Istanbul and Madrid. Since then, overwhelming costs for the stadium, reaching $2 billion, caused the government to change their mind.

Video: The Guardian

The stadium would have served the World Rugby Cup in 2019 as well as the Olympics.

Jim Heverin, the Project Director at Zaha Hadid Architects insists that the cost of the project increased due to rising cost of materials rather than the design itself.

He says, "The real challenge for the stadium has been agreeing an acceptable construction cost against the backdrop of steep annual increases in construction costs in Tokyo and a fixed deadline.” 

Recently a petition has been launched by a group of Japanese architects including Fumihiko Maki, Toyo Ito, Kengo Kuma and Sou Fujimoto, to scrap the project entirely. One architect called the design “like a turtle waiting for Japan to sink so that it can swim away."

Hadid herself is disappointed with the outcome, saying, "I understand it’s their town. But they’re hypocrites because if they are against the idea of doing a stadium on that site, I don’t think they should have entered the competition. The fact that they lost is their problem."

Cover: The Guardian