The Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 have another main venue ready for next year's Summer Games action. The Ariake Gymnastics Centre, which was officially delivered today, will be the future home of gymnastics - one of the most popular events in the Olympic programme. The centre will host artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics events as well as being used for boccia during the Paralympic Games. The venue is located near the Olympic Village and can seat up to 12,000 fans.
This unique venue showcases true Japanese craftsmanship and embodies Japan's woodworking culture. The surrounding area's former identity as a timber storage district inspired its design, modeled around the image of wooden ships in the bay. It has the most intensive usage of timber across all Tokyo 2020 venues, with 2,300m3 of wood sourced from throughout Japan, and it boasts one of the largest timber roofs in the world. Another characteristic is the wooden benches for spectators, which give the venue a feeling of natural warmth.
According to Koichi Fukui, the Venue General Manager, “it is a space with a real sense of freedom. This is a venue that will satisfy both athletes and spectators.”
On the exterior of the venue, Japanese cedar from Shizuoka, Akita, and Miyazaki prefectures was used to create the shape of a wooden vessel with an external concourse similar to an engawa, a Japanese-style veranda. The roof is constructed from larch wood from Nagano and Hokkaido prefectures, and the spectator benches from cedar from Mie prefecture.
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, including the Ariake Gymnastics Centre, have already been completed. The venue plan highlights Tokyo 2020's commitment to delivering a sustainable Games while creating new spaces for future generations to come together to enjoy sport and take part in community events.
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.