Japan's attempts at conforming to the hegemonic multicultural and gender-deconstructed culture of the West can sometimes have interesting effects. A case in point is the contract to build the Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, which was handed to Zaha Hadid's firm. For large scale projects seeking to appear "inclusive," choosing Hadid has a lot of positives. Not only is she a woman, but she is also from a demographic not otherwise known for architecture. In short nothing says "We welcome the World" better than having Hadid on board.
The only fly in the ointment, however — and it is a big fly — is the actual architecture itself, which can best be described as a site-blind melange of twisted, combobulating, computer-brushed architectural ectoplasm that seems to have come out of a giant 3-D printer. It's also a mute point how much of this is down to the high-profile, function-attending, hobnobbing Hadid or the industrious, presumably-male drones left behind at the office.
Maybe it was the fact that the firm designing the stadium is centred round a vacuous queen bee figure, or possibly it was because the design concept unwittingly channelled a Godzilla-sized sense of Japan's "hentai" culture — now the prevalent view of Japan in the West — but it is undeniable that the resulting design looks like nothing quite so much as a giant clitoris opening up to the world. Oh, the perils of global feminist architecture!
No wonder local male architects are up in arms and are keen to defend the national honour. They have even formed the architectural equivalent of a village mob to chase this architectural Frankenstein's monstrosity away. Fujiland wishes them every success.
17th May, 2014