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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tokyo Skytree Tower

On May 22 the Tokyo Skytree Tower opened, providing access to its observation decks. It is the second-tallest structure in the world, behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. But what I want to know is...

[Tokyo Skytree Tower Elevation | image stitched by archidose from this source]

Who designed it?

Nikken Sekkei is credited as architect at WAN and Wikipedia. But I recall early reports that Tadao Ando was responsible for the design. Of course, both could be correct, and Nikken Sekkei could be the executive architect, having executed Ando's design. But the news swirling around the opening of the "world's tallest free-standing broadcasting tower" omits any mention of Ando. Personally I have a hard time seeing Ando anywhere in the design, even if the steel lattice-like structure of the bottom half is pretty elegant; the top half is pretty clunky, the result of broadcasting functionalism over design, and observation decks designed like control towers rather than integral parts of the tower. I can't help but think that the recent cutbacks for the 1WTC spire will result in an equally inelegant top.

(For more tall building porn, see this earlier post.)


  1. its must be the most amazing building ever, i also heard about kingdom tower in Saudi Arabia the tallest building in the world. love to visit that one.

  2. tadao ando? really? lordy I hope not...

  3. What a view you offered to us by the image of the so famous "Tokyo Skytree Tower"! I almost felt as if I am climbing on it, while scrolling down the page:) I was not really familiar with the story behind its creation and all about it, but it was great to hear all about it!

  4. Whoever designed it, the general theme is functionality over elegance and design. It is pretty impressive non the less.

  5. Possibly Ando could have had his hand in the design the the base building and channel redevelopment (though after visiting the site last year, I don't get a sense that Ando contributed any of the design, but as you say, the executive architect could have readapted Ando's design.)


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