A reimagined legacy: the new stadium for Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 infused with history, innovation and Dow solutions

Published: 8 March 2020 - 7 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Serving as the main venue for the Olympic Games Tokyo 1964, Tokyo’s newly-inaugurated Olympic Stadium has been reimagined for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and constructed with multiple Dow technologies.

While the eyes of the world are on the athletes and creative pageantry of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, as well as other fan-favorite athletic events, Dow’s solutions will be working behind-the-scenes. These technologies will help enable, protect, enhance and maintain the integrity and performance of key infrastructure systems for the 72,400-square-meter Olympic Stadium.

“The Olympic Games symbolize many things—from the thrill of competition to the common threads that unite the world—but for Dow and our customers, the most poignant aspect of the Olympic Movement is the power and possibility of collaboration,” said Mike Reed, vice president of Dow Olympic and Sports Solutions. “In sharing our expertise in materials science and combining that with the know-how of architects, developers and customer partners in Tokyo, we are able to achieve new levels of innovation, sustainability and opportunity for the Olympic Games infrastructure and beyond.

Designed by architect Kengo Kuma in partnership with Taisei Corporation, the re-envisioned Olympic Stadium serves as an artistic representation of both Japan’s rich history and its vibrant future.

With an estimated 60,000 attendees1 anticipated to descend upon the new Olympic Stadium during the peak of summer heat, VORANOL Polyether Polyols—used to produce low- to high-density foams as sealants—fill the gaps between the building materials and are designed to help keep the stadium safe and stable by decreasing the deformation risk caused by the expansion of concrete under high temperatures.

For those viewing the events from the comfort of their homes, AXELERON Compounds used in telecommunication wires support the seamless transmission of the thrill of the live atmosphere onto a global digital stage. This wire solution aids in ensuring the stadium’s transmission speeds and signals are as efficient and reliable as possible, reducing the risk of signal loss. AXELERON Compounds, and in some cases along with ENGAGE Polyolefin Elastomers, are also used as insulation layers for 70 kilometers of low- and medium-voltage cables to help provide reliable power throughout the venue.

Following the Olympic Games, the new Olympic Stadium will play host to countless national and international events. For Tokyo 2020 and beyond, PRIMAL Acrylic Emulsions, high-durability binders for interior wall coatings, offer excellent long-term durability and substrate adhesion, while ELASTENE Elastomeric Wall Coatings help provide a solution for the exterior with excellent dirt pick up resistance and mechanical property balance. DOWANOL Glycol Ethers are used in water-based coating systems to optimize stability and performance of the coatings while meeting low-volatile organic compound (VOC) requirements.

The Olympic Stadium also honors the history of Japan through its structural features, reminiscent of the 1,300-year-old Gojunoto pagoda at Horyuji Temple in Ikaruga. To achieve this, 70,000 cubic feet of larch and cedar wood were leveraged in the intricate steel-lumber roof and sourced from nearly all of Japan’s 47 prefectures.

From its nature-inspired architecture to the advanced technologies at play in its construction, the reimagined Olympic Stadium is designed to stand the test of time and leave a legacy of fortitude, environmentalism, heritage and innovation.

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