After losing the contract to design the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium, London–based Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has now been asked by the Japan Sport Council (JSC), an organization overseen by the Japanese government, to give up the copyright of its design.
The JSC recently sent a revised contract to ZHA in response to the firm's request in October for the final payment for four months of work last year. The contract states that the JSC is "allowed to use any product of work...regardless of its copyright," and that ZHA permits the JSC to "use Project Work freely, without additional payment or restriction (includes alteration and any other use) and mutually agrees that [Zaha Hadid Ltd.] will consent without objection," according to The Telegraph, which received a copy of the agreement. Unless the firm signs the letter, the JSC will continue to withhold the final payment.
In addition to handing over the copyright, a second clause added to the existing contract demands that the firm no longer provide information or comment on the project.
While ZHA declined both the revised contract and the clause, the firm released a statement that it "welcome[s] that the JSC
has acknowledged the issue of the intellectual property for the
fundamental and detailed elements of the stadium design. We hope that these
matters can be quickly resolved."
Last month, after the Japanese government announced that Kengo Kuma would be the stadium's new architect, Zaha Hadid remarked on the similarities between her firm's designs and Kengo Kuma's proposal. Amid negotiations of the final payment, ZHA "submitted a report to the JSC detailing the significant similarities between the structure, layout and numerous elements of the original detailed design for the national stadium for Japan and the latest designs" that they hope will help in future discussions with the JSC to resolve the copyright issue. Despite any similarities in design, the two proposals differ greatly in cost. ZHA's design was projected to cost 252 billion yen ($2.1 billion), leading the government to halt the firm's plans. Kengo Kuma's is estimated at 149 billion yen ($1.2 billion).