Tokyo 2020; Ariake Gymnastics Centre completed

Press release by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games;

Tokyo 2020 Unveils the Unique Ariake Gymnastics Centre
New Olympic & Paralympic venue showcases traditional Japanese craftsmanship

Tokyo, 29 October 2019 – The Ariake Gymnastics Centre, due to be used as a venue during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, was officially completed. Located close to the Olympic Village, the new venue can seat up to approximately 12,000 spectators and will host Olympic artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastic events, as well as Paralympic boccia. Its on-time completion is further evidence that preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games are well on track.

The area around the new venue was previously used primarily for timber storage. This inspired its design and construction around the concept of “wooden vessels in the bay” and the widespread utilisation of timber in its roof frames, main auditorium and exterior.

This unique venue is intended to showcase traditional Japanese craftsmanship, with its structure embodying key aspects of Japan’s culture of timber-based construction. A prominent feature is the use of Japanese cedar to create the exterior shape of a wooden vessels with an external concourse similar to an engawa, a Japanese-style veranda. The installation of huge 90 metre wooden roof beams – free of steel framework – has allowed the creation of a large open space without pillars in the centre of the venue, a feature which will benefit athletes and spectators alike.

Construction of the Ariake Gymnastics Centre has involved the most intensive usage of timber of any of the Tokyo 2020 venues, featuring one of the largest timber roofs in the world and specially crafted wooden benches for spectators. Larch wood from Nagano and Hokkaido prefectures was used to create the 30 metre-wide timber roof. Cedar from Mie prefecture was used to craft the spectator benches, with cedar from Shizuoka, Miyazaki and Akita prefectures being deployed to create the large eaves.

The Tokyo 2020 Games will use a total of 43 venues – 8 new permanent venues, 25 existing sites and 10 temporary venues. Five new permanent Tokyo 2020 venues have already been completed and construction of the three remaining venues is progressing according to schedule.