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Plans have been revealed for Japan’s tallest building - the 390-metre earthquake resistant Torch Tower

Dan Cortese

25 September 2020


MITSUBISHI ESTATE has revealed plans to build Japan’s tallest inhabited building.

Dubbed Torch Tower, the 390-metre supertall will dwarf the nation’s current tallest skyscraper; the 300-metre Abeno Harukas.

Planned to be built opposite Tokyo Station, the mixed-use building will feature shops, restaurants, a bathhouse, and a 2,000-seat grand hall at its base.

Above and Below: Torch Tower will Japan's third supertall skyscraper (images courtesy of Mitsubishi Estate).

There will also be a two-kilometre outdoor walkway that will wind up the structure, giving way to open-air spaces and a garden terrace.

Above the walkway will be around 50 floors of office space, then a luxury hotel offering vistas of Tokyo Bay and Mt. Fuji.

The tower was first announced in 2016 and initial plans had the building at a slightly smaller height.

Mitsubishi Estate came up with an agreement to put an adjoining expressway underground and create a pedestrian network around Tokyo Station.

The developer was then allowed to increase the floorspace of the tower by 11 percent.

The building’s design takes inspiration from a torch and its summit will light up at night, mimicking a flame.

Above: Torch Tower's lighting (image courtesy of Mitsubishi Estate).

Torch Tower will have Japan’s “highest level of seismic resistance”, the developers have promised.

Previously, the risk of earthquakes has been a major factor in limiting the number of skyscrapers in Tokyo, the world’s current most populous city.

Most new buildings must be able to withstand a once-in-a-lifetime 7.9 magnitude earthquake, such as the one that devastated Tokyo in 1923 and killed more than 140,000 people.

To be able to do this, Japanese engineers have fit their buildings with state-of-the-art shock absorbers.

These shock absorbers are large blocks of rubber at the base of skyscrapers, sometimes just 30-50cm thick.

They also have motion dampers throughout the height of the building to improve resilience and reduce motion during an earthquake.

Construction on Torch Tower is due to start in 2023 with a completion date of 2027.

Header image courtesy of Mitsubishi Estate. 


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