Tokyo is a megacity of enormous proportions, but compared with other metropolis that have constantly push the envelope to make taller skyscrapers (some of which constitute supertall skyscrapers), Tokyo is a city that has been quite conservative with its approach to tall structures. This should come as no surprise, considering that Japan did not allow buildings to be taller than 31 meters until 1963. From there, Japanese cities started to see taller structures, but due to the seismicity of the country, few buildings reached heights above 200 meters. In fact, as of 2019, there’s only 1 building (not counting Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree) that’s taller than 299 meters: the 300-meter Abeno Harukas in Osaka. As a reference, the Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall.
However, new seismic technology has been a game changer, allowing cities in Japan to construct more skyscrapers above 200 meters. Perhaps the biggest news came when Tokyo completed the supertall Tokyo Skytree, which is as of 2019 the tallest tower in the world.
Now, things are about to change in Tokyo. Mori Building has announced a 580 billion yen project that, as of this publishing, is yet to have an official name. This project in the Toranomon-Azabudai district has been years in the making, as Mori started reshaping Minato Ward’s skyline years ago with the construction of many of their “Hills” buildings, including Toranomon Hills and Roppongi Hill.
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This new redevelopment project, however, is absolutely massive. It will occupy a total of 8.1 hectares (20 acres), and will have numerous shops and restaurants, 230,000 square meters of office space, 1,400 residences, the British School, and a luxury hotel. The 8.1 hectares are indeed smaller than the 11.6 hectares of Roppongi Hills, but this new project contains more green space. Additionally, the project’s floor area will total 860,400 square meters, far more than the 759,100 square meters of Roppongi Hills.
If the sheer size of the floor area were not enough, the project comes with several buildings, and the tallest of them will be 330 meters tall. That’s more than enough to make it not only Tokyo’s, but also Japan’s tallest building.
Mori Building tends to cater to foreigners, so this new project is seen as a magnet to bring in more talent to Tokyo. The complex’s office space, residences, and British School would indeed provide a perfect oasis for families moving to the Japanese capital.
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The project also comes as a relief to Tokyo since construction companies feared what would happen after the construction boom leading to the 2020 Olympics came to an end. However, projects close to Hibiya and Mori Building’s new venture will continue to keep Tokyo moving forward. The new complex is set to open in 2023.
However, Mitsubishi Estate Co. is planning a 390-meter skyscraper close to Tokyo Station set to be completed in 2027. This would make Mori Building’s project the tallest skyscraper in Japan for 4 years before being dethroned by Mitsubishi’s new building.