|Kenzo Tange - Japan
Metropolitan Governement Office, Tokyo
8-1 Nishi Shinjuku 2-chome, Shinjuku-ku
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, also referred to as Tochō for short, is located in the Tokyo city district Shinjuku.
It houses the headquarters of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which governs not only the 23 wards, but also the cities,
towns and villages that make up Tokyo as a whole. The building, designed in postmodern style is an overly monumental structure.
With its dimensions, the complex is nearly a city in itself, and contains various functions and facilities that contemporary urban life can provide.
The complex consists of three structures, each taking up a city block. The tallest and most prominent of the three structure is the main building.
This main building is a tower with a total of 48 stories. The tower splits into two sections at the 33rd floor. This arrangement gives the building a silhouette
which remembers the look of a gothic cathedral, and giving it a representative presence. Each of the towers contain a panoramic observation deck on the floor 45,
which are open to the public. The other two buildings in the complex are the eight-story Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Building and another high-rise building
which has 37 stories. The extensive horizontal wins of the Assembly Building symbolize the nave and sanctuary of the cathedral. These horizontal wings bridge
a major avenue at two locations and encompasses a vast semi-circular urban plaza. Sadly this plaze is rather formal and sterile without urban life.
The building by Kenzo Tange replaces the previous Metropolitan Government Office of 1957 in the Marunouchi area, which was also designed by Tange.
The inauguration of the building shifted the administrative center of the city to the rapidly developing high-rise district of west Shinjuku.
At the time of construction, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building was the tallest building in Tokyo, with a roof height of 243 meters.
This mark was surpassed in 2006 with the completion of the Midtown Tower.