Cox Architecture has won a contract to consult for Obayashi Corporation on the aquatic centre project planned for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Japanese company won the three-way race for the ¥43.5 billion ($540 million) facility, beating rivals Shimizu Corp and Taisei Corp.

Cox Architecture’s selection by the Tokyo-listed Obayashi, one of Japan's five largest builders, opens up more opportunities for the firm to work with the contractor in Japan and overseas.

Cox director Alastair 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.

Obayashi's bid was the cheapest of the three; according to Richardson, the element of being budget conscious was a driving factor in the criteria for all bidders. Cox’s contribution to Obayashi’s aquatic centre bid focused on the legacy of the facilities, especially its value to the local community after the completion of the two-week tournament and its ongoing financial viability.

The win also positions Cox for more work post-Olympics with the contractor including an opportunity to 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 four kilometres away in Tokyo Bay.

Image: The Olympics Aquatic Centre in the Yumenoshima district