Friday, May 25, 2012

Japan's Skytree - World's Tallest Tower

The Tokyo Skytree, holder of the record for the world's tallest tower has opened to the public. About 8,000 visitors took the high-speed lifts up to the observation decks of the 634m (2,080ft) tower on its opening day. Eager visitors have reportedly waited in line for more than a week to purchase tickets for the building's panoramic views.

Tokyo Skytree will provide services for digital radio and TV transmission, as well as an aquarium, theater, academic institutes and regional heating and cooling facilities. Tokyo's current broadcasting tower, Tokyo Tower, is at 333 m (1,093 ft), and is no longer tall enough to give complete digital terrestrial television broadcasting coverage because it is surrounded by many high-rise buildings.

Two observatories are open to the public, at 350 meters and 450 meters. The latter features an “air corridor” - a glassed walkway. Simulations have shown Tokyo Skytree is able to withstand an 8.0-magnitude earthquake, according to Hirotake Takanishi, PR manager for the Tobu Tower Skytree holding company. 

The lower observation platform houses a restaurant and shops, many of which sell something related to the tower's 634-meter height. The tower's official color is “Skytree White,” which has slight bluish undertones. Though it can show many night-time color combinations, the tower’s default illumination is blue or purple. Blue is to reflect the image of the once-blue Sumida river, while purple symbolizes miyabi, the popular purple kimono color from the Edo era. 

The Sky Tree was confirmed by Guinness World Record in November as beating the record previously held by the Canton Tower in China, which stands 600m (1,968 and a half feet) high. Under Guinness World Records guidelines, a tower is a structure in which less than 50 per cent of the total height is useable floor space. The world's tallest building and also the tallest free-standing structure on land remains Dubai's Burj Khalifa, which stands at 828m (2,717ft).