The Tokyo metropolitain area has many centers. Shibuya and Shinjuka are well known. A smaller one is Shiodome. A small spot south of Ginza. Tourist should memorize this place. Next to Shiodome is Hamarikyu Teien. One of the most beautiful japanese Garden in Tokyo. The famous fishmarket is close by. And in Shiodome the monorail across the Rainbow Bridge to Odaiba starts. It is also the place where you realize that Tokyo is 3D.
Shiodome is urban architecture and modern city development. Shiodome is the place where the word “ground level” does not exist. Even the existence of trees is not a prove that you are at this level. You may be above or below. Stop thinking in 2D. Shiodome is the begin of science fiction, where city grow into the sky, where the different infrastructures pf the cities are stacked. The end of this development would be a city like in “The fifth element”.
Nippon Television Headquarter
Rogers Stirk Harbours + Partner, 2003
This was the answer to Fuji’s headquarter in Odaiba. Like many buildings in Tokyo this one is also split into areas for different purpose. In the lower half of the building are ste studios and above them the offices. You can see the both areas. The look of the building is dominated by the steel beams in the corners. They are no decoration but part of the building structure. The rest is covered in glass. The visible steel beams are remains from first sketch when the building had a complete exosceleton.
Nippon Television Headquarters and Dentsu Head Office
Dentsu Head Office
Ateliers Jean Nouvel, 2002
Also this building stands out. From one side it looks a little bit like a ship hull. From the other side it looks like the blade of a knife. There are no decoration elements. The power of this building comes from its ground shape alone. The reflectivity of the glass is a nice balance between full transparency of the windows and opaque elements between.
Check out the light effect at the top. I took this picture by accident. But the effect was planned by the architect. The reflectivity of the glass elements was changed. It now looks like the building is melting into the sky.
Relict of the past
If you look carefully, between all this steel and glass there is an old building, that I need to mention. Just because it is so misplaced. It is an relict from the old Shiodome area.
Zwei Relikte der Vergangenheit
This famous building is planned to be demolished (situation in 2011). It is a witness of an older Tokyo. It was the attempt to modulize the city, to make the city organic. The concept: Each appartment is a cubilce that is attached to a central tower. If you need more appartments, you can cubicles, if you need less you can remove them. The building is adapting to the current need of living space. The Nakagin is a hotel. Only th bulleyes look strange. It is like a nightmare of living in the future, but it is a view into the history, when they tried to form a future that never came.