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Japan’s tallest skyscraper, part of ambitious ‘urban village,’ completed in Tokyo

<i>Mori Building Co.</i><br/>The new tallest building in Japan is here — and the gleaming skyscraper is part of an expansive “modern urban village” in central Tokyo
Mori Building Co.
The new tallest building in Japan is here — and the gleaming skyscraper is part of an expansive “modern urban village” in central Tokyo

Jessie Yeung, CNN

(CNN) — The new tallest building in Japan is here — and the gleaming skyscraper is part of an expansive “modern urban village” in central Tokyo, years in the making.

The tower, with gently curved edges and a crown resembling flower petals, reaches 330 meters (1,083 feet) in height, with 64 floors above ground. That surpasses the Abeno Harukas skyscraper in Osaka, now Japan’s second tallest building at 300 meters (984 feet).

The completion of the tower, announced on Monday, brings the sprawling Azabudai Hills complex one step closer to its scheduled opening in the fall. The project has been under construction since 2019, with just “final touches” left to do in the coming months, according to a press release by building developer Mori Building Co.

The building, one of several within the development, will be multi-purpose, hosting branded hotel residences, office spaces, a university medical center, retail shops and restaurants, and the largest international school in central Tokyo, according to the release.

Spanning an area of more than 8 hectares (nearly 20 acres), the project aims to revitalize the entire neighborhood, with other on-site facilities including a spa, fitness clubs, an art gallery and a museum. The various structures will make up a “city within a city,” developers said.

“To accommodate local traffic, we even constructed new roads running through the complex,” according to the website. The wider development is expected to accommodate about 20,000 employees and 3,500 residents, along with a projected 25-35 million visitors per year.

The towers were designed by renowned US architecture firm Pelli Clarke & Partners. The UK’s Heatherwick Studio designed one of the development’s low-rise structures.

Architects who worked on the project previously told CNN that the residential interiors pay homage to Japanese craftsmanship and lifestyles, such as the way Japanese homes are usually laid out.

Japan was once known for its technological advances and rapid urban development, though many of its tallest skyscrapers were built before the turn of the century. Other countries have meanwhile raced ahead, constructing ever-taller skylines — the Azabudai Hills skyscraper is still dwarfed by towers in New York, Taiwan and Dubai.

And it will soon have competition nearby, with a new torch-inspired building rising in Tokyo. At 390 meters (nearly 1,280 feet), Torch Tower will loom above Azabudai Hills when it completes in 2027.

The development around that tower also aims to incorporate greenery and open grounds, and will become “the largest city block” in the Japanese capital, according to its website.

This article has been updated with a conversion of 8 hectares to its equivalent in acres.

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