Nearly four years, 600,000 workers and $800 million later, work on Japan’s Tokyo Sky Tree tower is finally complete.
The broadcasting, restaurant, and observation structure is officially the world’s tallest tower, rising 634 meters above the Tokyo skyline, and is the second tallest structure in the world following the Burj Khalifa (830 meters) in Dubai.
Construction of the modern monolith was delayed more than two months after the devastating quake that inundated much of Japan’s low-lying coastal areas and claimed the lives of nearly 16,000 people. Officials hope the tower will rejuvenate Japan’s decimated tourist industry, which has been struggling to attract visitors since the disaster.
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Built by the Obayashi Corporation – whose next major project may very well be a 36,000 kilometer elevator to space – the tower’s initial height of 610 meters was increased after word got out that China’s Canton Tower in Guangzhou would match altitude with the Japanese giant. The extra 24 meters secured Tokyo Sky Tree’s record-holding spot.
Designed with earthquake and extreme weather safety in mind, the Tower’s strong central column and oil dampers provides structural stability, supporting two observation decks, eateries, and Tokyo’s main radio and television broadcasting station.
Tobu Tower Sky Tree Co., the operator of the tower complex, plans to open the Tower to the public on May 22nd.