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Thread: Roppongi Mori Tower - Tokyo

  1. #16

    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    Oups.
    I thought they were all called that way.

    And I just noticed the giant M near the top of the tower. Can you imagine a giant T on top of the Trump towers ?

  2. #17

    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    Wow, its........different!

    I like it, but it definatley belongs in tokyo. Its the right kind of style.

    Dosent the tokyo tower look a bit of a mess?
    Im not denying that it isnt a brilliant structure though.

  3. #18

  4. #19

    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    Wow! It's so cool. I wish it were in Times SquareHehe.

  5. #20

    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    With floor plates of 120,000 square feet, this 54-story building has what, like, 6 million square feet? *It's an absolute monster!

  6. #21
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    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    I find that hard to believe, Eugenius; but if that's the case, the massing is incredible.

  7. #22
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    Default Roppongi Mori Tower

    Quote: from Fabb on 4:53 pm on June 28, 2003
    Oups.
    I thought they were all called that way.

    And I just noticed the giant M near the top of the tower. Can you imagine a giant T on top of the Trump towers ?
    Either Way, I still say he's taking over the world...

  8. #23

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    Despite Economy, Tokyo Office-construction Booming

    (From The Far Eastern Economic Review)

    By Tim Hornyak in Tokyo

    OLD-TIMERS IN TOKYO are scratching their heads. Forests of cranes are sprouting and construction zones are mushrooming, creating towering new landmarks in the centre of the capital. A building boom is sweeping central Tokyo, the likes of which have not been seen since Japan's days of postwar high growth in the 1950s and 1960s. And all this during the deep freeze of the country's long economic slump.

    Notorious for its ground-hugging, chaotic architecture, Tokyo is getting a facelift as spectacular new cities rise within it. One of the most impressive is Shiodome, a 31-hectare slice of business, residential and commercial waterfront on Tokyo Bay that's about half complete. Abutting the glitzy Ginza shopping district and the shogunal Hama Rikyu Garden, Shiodome is already a dramatic knot of skyscrapers punctuated by leading ad agency Dentsu's new headquarters, a titanic wedge of glass by French architect Jean Nouvel. An array of midair walkways, sunken plazas and underground thoroughfares connect offices, shops, condominiums and hotels. Girded by rail, subway and highway, Shiodome is to be a workplace for 61,000 people and a home to 6,000. By its completion in 2006, it is expected to have created 93,000 jobs and economic benefits of 1.6 trillion ($13.6 billion), part of an estimated 10 trillion to be generated by over 100 Tokyo redevelopment zones such as Marunouchi and Shinagawa.

    While Japan's economy has been showing some signs of recovery lately, few believe the recession will end soon. So why all the jackhammer racket? There are a number of factors, including falling land prices and deregulation. Another is that many of these projects are so large that they require up to 20 years to complete and must continue regardless of prevailing economic winds.

    For instance, planning for Roppongi Hills, an 11-hectare, 500-billion office, residential and entertainment complex, started in 1986. Negotiations with 500 landowners took 14 years. The complex caused a sensation when developer Mori Building opened it in April. Now, its office space is 85% occupied and its deluxe homes are expected to be full by the end of 2003. "We've been through the ups and downs, but [President Minoru] Mori had a strong vision and will," says Toru Nagamori of Mori Building. "The important thing is to have a single will behind the project."

    Another boom factor was the 1987 privatization of Japanese National Railways, which put large plots up for grabs. Ten years later, JNR's old Shiodome Station freight terminal was auctioned off to help pay debts. Media companies such as Dentsu, Kyodo News and Nippon Television Network Corp. decided to build headquarters there. Other big firms in Shiodome include All Nippon Airways, Fujitsu and Shiseido. "We made a new town from zero," notes Shigeru Koshikawa, who manages Dentsu's Caretta Shiodome shopping mall tucked under its 48-storey headquarters. "That concept itself appeals to consumers."

    The area on which Shiodome stands was reclaimed from Tokyo Bay under the medieval shoguns. Japan's first railway, a line to Yokohama, was built there, with the mikado (emperor) himself presiding over its 1872 inauguration that ushered Japan into the steam age. The station was destroyed in a 1923 earthquake; now a new concrete reproduction of it houses cafes. It is dwarfed by the 43-storey Shiodome City Centre, an office tower developed by Mitsui Fudosan and the Singapore government that is home to restaurants, a cooking school and a Porsche showroom.

    Over at Caretta Shiodome, about 80 people are lined up outside Kyoto tea shop Tsujiri, one of the mall's 56 stores. At a nearby theatre, the cast of Broadway musical Mamma Mia is warming up. Forty-seven storeys above, all tables are booked at eateries with panoramic views of Tokyo Bay and Ginza's lights. These commercial and cultural synergies make a fine melange, says Koshikawa. "In the first six months, the number of visitors as well as sales have exceeded our estimates by nearly 20%," he adds; on average over 200,000 people visit the mall weekly.

    Most of Shiodome's office space is occupied by corporate headquarters, which provide a steady clientele for local businesses. But the flip side of the boom are the vacant buildings in Tokyo, even in Ginza, that corporations ditched for new digs. "When they left those places, especially in Yokohama, it was almost impossible to sell the space," says Keiko Otsuki, a real-estate analyst at Morgan Stanley Japan.

    Another downside is the office glut. With new buildings coming onto the market at about the same time, the industry fears an oversupply. At the end of March, the vacancy rate of offices in the five wards of central Tokyo hit a high of 8.18%. Says Otsuki: "Owners can't get the same rents as before. Basically, rents are falling."

    Others see macroeconomic woes overshadowing the building frenzy. "The problem is, in the current Japanese economy, with a flat nominal GDP and deflationary undertow, you're not guaranteed rental tenants," says independent financial analyst Stephen Church, head of Analytica Japan. He recalls fears that a chunk of Shiodome City Centre would be empty after a merger between prospective tenants collapsed. Developer Mitsui Fudosan has since said that most of the space has been let to an affiliate.

    The property-investment bubble also reflects underlying economic distortions such as abnormally low interest rates and the bad-loan crisis, says Church. "What can we do? We can't stop construction. We just have to live with it," says Fred Takahashi of Shiodome lead developer Sumitomo Realty & Development, which is erecting three structures on the site, including Japan's tallest residential tower at 190 metres.

    "It's not that difficult to find tenants for new buildings because the technology is so different," adds Takahashi. Most of the problem was concentrated in the first three months of the year, he says, and July was the best month for rental contracts in the past five years. "People started saying, 'I think we should get on the train now, or we'll miss it.'"

  9. #24

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    January 4, 2004

    Tokyo Builds a Microcosm of Itself

    By JAMES BROOKE


    A sculpture of a spider ("Maman" by Louise Bourgeois) beside the Mori Tower.

    LET'S meet at the spider.

    A year ago, that invitation had no meaning. But since April l, the 30-foot-high Louise Bourgeois bronze sculpture has tiptoed into Tokyo's collective consciousness. The children of Japanese who once worried about Godzilla are now sheltered by the eight welcoming limbs of an arachnid formally called "Maman."

    The spider is the jumping-off point for exploring Roppongi Hills, Tokyo's new "city in a city," two miles from the Ginza, in Roppongi, a neighborhood of bars, restaurants and upscale housing.

    For style-obsessed Tokyo, always striving to be 10 degrees ahead of New York and London, this 29-acre, $4 billion complex of curving glass, minimalist metal and earthy stone arrives after a decade in gestation, offering an enticing conglomeration: cutting-edge restaurants, shopping, a hotel, movie theaters and art, as well as a 54-story office tower and a residential complex. Exploring Roppongi Hills is a new key to understanding Japan today - and tomorrow.

    Although 99 percent of the clientele is Japanese, the new complex is deliberately welcoming to English speakers. Signs are largely bilingual and tenants are under orders from Minoru Mori, the real-estate force behind the ambitious development, to hire employees with basic English skills. The omnipresent free brochures, however, with such titles as "Artelligent Christmas," "Hills Life" and "Floor Guide," turn out to be all in Japanese.

    Still, remarked a friend over drinks, "The English here is better than at the Imperial Hotel." Rick Herman, a portfolio manager from Philadelphia, had temporarily defected from the Imperial, Tokyo's famous downtown standby, to join my wife, Elizabeth, and me at Maduro, the elegant new bar in the Grand Hyatt Tokyo at Roppongi Hills. Exuding an exclusive clublike air, the bar's door is a gray, anonymous block that silently slides open on approach.

    With warm, subdued lighting and an impressive wine list, Maduro was to be named Morgan, until the designer, a New Yorker, learned that the two anchor tenants of the Roppongi Hills office tower were to be Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs.

    Even though Elizabeth and I were staying at the Hyatt, Maduro would not take reservations. But the tables were plentiful before dinner. Peeking in after dinner, we discovered that there was a $14 cover charge, and the place was filled with Tokyo's beautiful people.

    For dinner, we went to Juniper, a Hyatt restaurant about 50 feet away - which, like many excursions in Roppongi Hills, involved briefly getting lost. A Scandinavian-Japanese fusion menu at Juniper is based on the lean cuisine of northern Europe and served with Japanese attention to detail and subtlety. The smoked salmon and turbot came in just the right size portions to be savored, not gobbled. A D.J. played music, but not so loud that it impeded conversation.

    After dinner, we strolled from the Hyatt, down Keyakizaka Street, window shopping our way past Louis Vuitton, Courrèges, Coach and La Perla lingerie. Just the way the mature trees add instant grace to the eight-month-old street, the high-class lineup of stores is making Keyakizaka an overnight competitor with the Ginza, Tokyo's Fifth Avenue, albeit with a neon touch.

    Modern Japan's best buzz meter is the concentration of cellphone cameras. On that Friday night, the cameras were out in force: couples on dates taking self-portraits in front of the Christmas tree sculpture and knots of office workers gathering, slightly inebriated, for year-end snapshot e-mail messages.

    The setting of the winter sun had provoked the disappearance of those who populate the place during the day: the fashionistas, the strollers through the gingkos and ponds of the one-acre traditional Japanese garden, and the high-tech tourists each equipped with a headset as if on a museum tour.

    Some of the tourists had ducked inside the nearby TV Asahi headquarters building to sip tea at the cafe overlooking the garden or to browse in the lobby, decorated with costumes from historical soap operas.

    Others had gone upward, 700 feet up to the sky deck, Tokyo City View, reached by elevators that whisk visitors 52 stories up the Mori Tower, the glass-sheathed centerpiece of the complex.

    Peering through glass walls that seem to be polished every 18 minutes, a visitor can walk around the main office tower, to see all of Tokyo, night or day. Perhaps the world's only high-rise that sells gin and tonics and wasabi muffins, its sky deck is open early enough to see Mount Fuji lighted by the morning sun and late enough to allow couples on dates to cuddle.

    The City View ticket - $14.25 for adults and $4.75 for younger children (at 109 yen to the dollar) - also allows admission to the Mori Art Museum, (the Mori Art Museum is part of the Mori Arts Center) on the two floors above the observation deck, at the pinnacle of the complex. Lured initially by the city panorama, visitors flow naturally up escalators and into the galleries of the full-size big-city modern art museum.

    As with the museum's first exhibition on the theme of "Happiness: A Survival Guide for Art and Life," running through Jan. 18, the idea is to assemble pieces from different countries, from different media, to create a fleeting intellectual moment, and then to move on.

    The museum has no permanent collection (the next exhibition, "Roppongi Crossing: New Vision of Japanese Art 2004," runs from Feb. 7 to April 11). David S. Elliott, the director, is from Britain, making him the first foreigner to run a museum in Japan.

    Back at ground level that Friday evening, the sake had been flowing. A tipsy young jaywalker shook with giggles as her girlfriends labored to extricate her boot heel from a chain fence along the sidewalk.

    Then they then collapsed onto Droog Design's pink sofa. Designed to be admired - and sat upon - Roppongi Hills' "street furniture" includes Shigeru Uchida's benchlike red ribbon and Tokujin Yoshioka's translucent chair.

    At night, the outdoor furniture takes on a magical aspect as fizzy white light rotates across walls and one sidewalk glows with indented lights in the shape of blue diamonds. High atop the office tower, a bowtie effect of lights and shadows looks vaguely like the black bat shadow once projected in the Gotham sky to call Batman.

    Leaving the fantasy of the streets, we walked into Starbucks, which is a port of entry to Tsutaya, a two-level store that sells books, magazines and the kind of manga (comic books) and anime (cartoons) that are now Japan's cultural calling card the world over.

    From there, we wended our way up one escalator and past Virgin Cinemas, where our 13-year-old son, James, has undoubtedly seen enough movies to allow him to fly to Shanghai on his Cinemileage card.

    We passed the food court, where a bagelry sells minibagels, and then down an escalator to Heartland, a small, extremely popular standup bar.

    Blocking our entrance were three well-dressed young blond women. They peered inside and conferred. After some indecision, they wheeled off into the night with a flash of pearls.

    Inside, smoke hung in the air. Western men, largely 20-something traders from upstairs, bellowed into one another's faces and hoisted beers. A few brave Japanese women cautiously sipped drinks, while standing on the fringes.

    Out we spun into the fresh air, and then ducked into the Hyatt, with its lobby that features dramatic abstract sculptures. Not to be confused with the Park Hyatt Tokyo, which was featured in Sofia Coppola's movie "Lost in Translation," Tokyo's newest Hyatt in Roppongi Hills has become a destination in its own right since opening last April. Twice in 12 hours, I bumped into friends at the hotel. The nine restaurants and bars are a major draw, including the French Kitchen on the second floor, a restaurant where the line between kitchen and customer dissolves.

    Fast becoming a favorite for Tokyo suburbanites on a weekend in town, the hotel has a spa on the fifth floor and a swimming pool that looks as if it were borrowed from a Greek myth.

    Up we went to our room on the 20th floor, where we tumbled into a firm bed that Elizabeth pronounced "better than at home." With blond-wood paneling and flat-screen TV's, the room projected a minimalist elegance. In the morning, I stretched out my right arm, held down a switch and raised the blackout curtain. Cool. Another button rolled up the second shade.

    Before us stretched western Tokyo's low-rise buildings, the high-rise cluster of Shibuya's entertainment district, outbound traffic clogged on Metropolitan Expressway No. 3, swatches of green parkland, and on and on, to the foothills of Mount Fuji, which, true to form, was blocked by clouds.

    Twelve hours at Roppongi Hills was a reminder that while the headlines say the Japanese economy is in a state of stagnation, the Japanese are always creating. One year ago, the experts were predicting failure. But Roppongi Hills drew 26 million visitors in its first six months, double the draw of Tokyo's two Disney parks. The complex gives a glimpse of a new Tokyo: high-rise, high-tech and high style.


    Pedal taxi in Roppongi Hills.

    Visitor Information

    For information on Roppongi Hills, visit www.roppongihills.com/en/information . Although there are over 2,700 parking spaces in the complex, the simplest way to get there is by taxi.

    Tokyo City View, (81-3) 6406-6652, www.tokyocityview.com . Admission, $14.25 for adults (at 109 yen to the dollar); high school and college students, $9.50; younger children, $4.75. Open 9 a.m. to 1 a.m.; last admission at midnight.

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo, (81-3) 4333-1234, www.grandhyatttokyo.com . Standard rates in the 389-room hotel start at $438. In the Maduro Bar, reservations (81-3) 4333-8888, four glasses of wine cost $86. At the Juniper restaurant, (81-3) 4333-1234, dinner for two with two glasses of wine was $201.

    JAMES BROOKE is a correspondent in the Tokyo bureau of The New York Times.


    TOP Street seating, by Droog Design. BOTTOM Outside the TV Asahi building.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  10. #25
    Senior Member JonY's Avatar
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    Default

    More pics:

    __

    _

  11. #26

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    Great pics again JonY!

    It is a bit monstorous from some angles. but i do like it.

  12. #27

    Default Tokyo*Jam

    Fabb: Thanks for posting those absolutely awesome photos from Tokyo. It's the first time that I've caught a glimpse of Roppongi at night, and that's surely quite a sight (in terms of architecture and lighting and size).

    One page titled "Tokyo*Jam" has a gallery of Tokyo metropolitan scenery. They are in black and white, which resolate somewhat of a nostalgic, sentimental feel.

    http://www.tokyo-jam.com/g_mex.html

    ~!@#$%^&*(Rick)

    PS- According to one statistic, the average amount of money spent by each visitor of the Roppongi Tower is around $107. Talk about a big wallet diet...

  13. #28

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    Found on skyscrapercity, model of Tokyo at the World City Expo in the tower:


    Shinjuku


    Shinagawa


    Mita


    Kasumigaseki


  14. #29

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    Other cities are also represented...

    New York:




    Chicago:



    London:




    Paris:



    Frankfurt:


  15. #30
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    Moses on skates, Tokyo is huge.

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