Torch Tower: New Tokyo skyscraper to become Japan’s tallest building

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Written by Oscar Holland, CNN

Contributors Yoko Wakatsuki, CNN

A 390-meter-high (1,279 feet) skyscraper inspired by a flaming torch is set to become Japan’s tallest building when it opens in 2027.

Standing above a new plant-filled public plaza in Tokyo, the tower will also feature a soaring observation area from which visitors can enjoy views over the capital and nearby Mount Fuji.

Although the project was first announced in 2016, property giant Mitsubishi Estate this month unveiled its new torch-inspired design, before revealing the building’s name — Torch Tower — on Thursday. The structure forms part of a wider 31,400-square-meter (338,000-square-foot) urban development.

The development will also feature a 7,000-square-meter (75,000 square feet) plant-filled public plaza.

The development will also feature a 7,000-square-meter (75,000 square feet) plant-filled public plaza. Credit: Mitsubishi Estate

Most of the building’s 63 floors will be dedicated to office space, though shops and restaurants, as well as a 2,000-seat grand hall and a bathhouse, are set to open on the lower floors.

The building’s upper reaches will contain a hotel with approximately 100 rooms, while the torch’s “flame” has been reserved for an observation area dubbed “sky hill.” The design was envisaged as a “torch that lights up the world,” according to a press release.

the building features a soaring observation area from which visitors can enjoy views over the capital and nearby Mount Fuji.

the building features a soaring observation area from which visitors can enjoy views over the capital and nearby Mount Fuji. Credit: Mitsubishi Estate

Developer Mitsubishi Estate, which is part of the conglomerate behind Mitsubishi Motors, claims that the building will enjoy Japan’s “highest level of seismic resistance.” The development will also provide public areas that serve as shelters in the case of a natural disaster.

The project is currently under construction near Tokyo Station, the capital’s main railway hub. The site was once home to Tokiwabashi Gate, one of the entrances to the 15th-century Edo Castle, of which only ruins remain.

The tower will become Tokyo's -- and Japan's -- tallest building upon completion in 2027.

The tower will become Tokyo’s — and Japan’s — tallest building upon completion in 2027. Credit: Mitsubishi Estate

A second high-rise on the site, the 212-meter (696-foot) Tokiwabashi Tower, is due to complete next year. It will be separated from Torch Tower by a 7,000-square-meter (75,000 square feet) public plaza, complete with a koi pond and waterfront promenade.

Torch Tower will stand significantly above Japan’s current tallest building, the 300-meter Abeno Harukas, in Osaka. It will also surpass the planned 330-meter tower in Tokyo’s new Toranomon-Azabudai district, which is set to become the country’s tallest upon its scheduled completion in 2023.

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