Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has canceled plans to build a large new stadium shaped like a bike helmet for the 2020 Olympics. The new Tokyo stadium, designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, had been criticized for its high construction cost and a design that some said clashed with traditional Japanese aesthetics.
“I have made a decision to take the plan back to square one and reconsider,” Abe told reporters Friday. He said he would seek out a new design with a lower construction cost. The bike helmet stadium had been projected to cost more than $2 billion.
The new stadium was supposed to be completed in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, as well as the 2020 Olympics. The project now won’t be ready for the rugby event, but Abe said he was sure the facility would be completed in time for the Olympics.