The Tokyo Olympics 2020 Sport Stadium Controversy: Exploring the Role of Star Architects and Global Brands

Tamari, Tomoko. 2018. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 Sport Stadium Controversy: Exploring the Role of Star Architects and Global Brands. International Planning History Society Proceedings, 18(1), pp. 1099-1109. ISSN 2468-6956 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Olympics is a contested site of sovereignty in terms of power balancing between the political (government), economic (global capitalism), cultural (iconic architects) entities and citizens. The paper focuses on iconic Olympic stadia designed by star architects in the era of global capitalism and explores the shifting and multifaceted identities of the iconic architects in global cultural industries. Taking the 2020 Tokyo Olympic stadium as a case study, the paper unpacks the relationship between the material and symbolic infrastructure of iconic architecture, which involves political interests, economic capitals and site-specific memories. The paper argues that the Olympic stadium is an ideal site to examine the strategically constructed images and values of iconic architects and spectacular architecture, and that reveals the narrativisation and commodification of star architects and iconic buildings necessarily make themselves into ‘a global brand’. In this context, the paper concludes that national grand architectural projects, such as the construction of Olympic sport stadia, cannot operate outside the regime of global and local politics, and beyond the logic of neoliberal transnational capitalism.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Iconic architects, Olympics Sport Stadium, Global brand, Global capitalism

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


10 July 2018Accepted
20 July 2018Published

Event Location:

Yokohama, Japan

Date range:

15-19 July 2018

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Jul 2018 15:33

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 22:13

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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