The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Tokyo 2020) is pleased to announce that the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, due to be used as a venue during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, has been recognised with a Minister of the Environment Award as a structure that makes good use of wood as a renewable and aesthetically rich resource. The award, conducted annually since 1993 by the Japan Council for Advancement of Timber Utilisation with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and the Ministry of the Environment, recognises facilities that contribute to the use of Japanese wood. This year’s award is an important recognition of Tokyo 2020’s ongoing efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and save energy. The award ceremony was held today (30 October 2020).
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 vessel with an external concourse similar to an engawa, a Japanese-style veranda. The installation of huge 90-metre wooden roof beams free of any steel framework has allowed the creation of a 30-metre-high 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 involved the most expansive 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 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 Ariake Gymnastics Centre has become a symbolic Tokyo 2020 venue, sharing Japanese culture with the wider world. The Tokyo 2020 sustainability concept for the Games is "Be better, together - For the planet and the people," and Tokyo 2020 strives to meet its responsibility to deliver a sustainable Games and showcase solutions to global sustainability challenges to people both in Japan and around the world.
The Ariake Gymnastics Centre, located close to the Olympic Village, will host Olympic artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastic events, as well as Paralympic boccia.