Tokyo Sky Tree Set for Completion in 2012
Designed by Nikken Sekkei, the tower, which resembles a large tree, will serve as a hub for the country's digital terrestrial broadcasting network. Additionally, the structure features two observation decks and is designed to withstand Japan's frequent earthquakes as well as strong winds. Though many may see this as Japan's way of getting in the race for the world's tallest structure, the height of the Tokyo Sky Tree serves an important function-it improves the towers ability to send the broadcasting signals over the tall skyscrapers of Tokyo.
The base of the tower resembles a tripod. The three 'legs' anchor the structure to the ground. As it rises, the structure begins to curve around a central tube into the sky. Observatory levels at 350 meters and 450 meters allow visitors to have panoramic views of the urban landscape. The lower level will feature restaurants and retail opportunities.
Japan isn't a stranger to earthquakes and strong storms. As a result, architects must design structures with disaster prevention features to withstand movement from above and below. Taking inspiration from the traditional Japanese pagoda, the tower relies on a central column for stability. According to the architects, "this system counters swaying set in motion by earthquake tremors and strong winds, ensuring a safe and reliable structure." The Obayashi Corporation is serving as the general contractor on the Tokyo Sky Tree project.