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.)