Work begins on $4.8bn Torch Tower Tokyo, Japan’s tallest building

Mitsubishi’s rendering of the Torch Tower (Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei)
Developer Mitsubishi Estate has fired the starting pistol for what will become Japan’s tallest building: the 390m Torch Tower skyscraper near Tokyo Station.

The design, by Sou Fujimoto Architects, has a wavy crown that is intended to resemble the flames of a torch.

The massing is relatively thick for such a tall building. The gross floor area is 544,000 sq m, or 1.75 times greater than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, presently the world’s tallest building.

This means that the $4.8bn building is able to accommodate a 2,000-seat entertainment hall, a Dorchester Collections hotel between floors 57 and 61, and office space. The most striking element, however, is a dramatic hill-like observation deck and public plaza, located in a cut-away section of the façade and offering views of Mount Fuji and Tokyo Bay.

The tower’s dramatic plaza-cum-observation-deck (Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei)

The tower is part of a wider masterplan known as the Tokyo Torch that Mitsubishi is developing on a site north of the city railway station. According to Mitsubishi, the aim of the masterplan is to create an urban quarter that “brightens and energises Japan”.

The developer has already completed the first element of the plan, the 212m Tokiwabashi Tower.

When Torch Tower is completed – by March 2028, if all goes to plan – it will be 65m taller than the Azabudai Hills Mori JP Tower, which is itself  part of a $4.4bn development in central Tokyo that is due to complete next month.

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