According to The Australian Financial Review today, an Australian company, Cox Architecture, which came second in the global race to design the Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium, will consult on the aquatic centre for Obayashi Corporation, after the Japanese contractor won the three-way race for the ¥43.5 billion ($535 million) facility.
It's a win that follows three years of work courting Tokyo-listed Obayashi - one of Japan's five largest builders - and paves the way for Cox to win more work with the contractor in Japan and abroad. Exports of Australian professional services lag commodities.
"It's very important in terms of building a relationship with Obayashi for opportunities in Japan - so many contracts are led by contractors – and being seen as innovative, creative and able to think outside the box is a commodity they really appreciate," Cox director Alastair Richardson said.
Mr Richardson, who heads sports stadium design for Cox, will travel to Japan in March to formalise the firm's role in the consortium. The completed facility has to be ready by mid-2019, a year before the tournament. Detailed design was likely to be completed this year and construction should start by year-end or early next year, he said.
Obayashi's bid was the cheapest of the three - others were led by rivals Shimizu Corp and Taisei Corp - but all three were under the ¥53.8 billion budget.
A key opportunity, post-Olympics, would be work on the redevelopment of downtown Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market, a 23-hectare site that will end its current role in November when it moves to a larger site on reclaimed land 4km away in Tokyo Bay.
"It's going to be one of the biggest city building projects of Tokyo outside of the Olympics," Mr Richardson said.
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