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Tokyo Skytree Tower Is Second-Tallest Building In World

04/22/2012 08:58 AM ET

The world’s second largest building, now known as the Tokyo Skytree Tower, is set to open this May after being completed in February. A pre-opening preview of the Tokyo tower was given to the press and other visitor’s this past week, most of which were impressed by the Skytree unimpeded view of the entire Japanese capitol.

Tokyo Skytree

Rising 2,080 feet, the building comes second only too Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,723 feet. But the this building also doubles as the world’s tallest broadcasting tower.

Led by Tobu Railway and a group of six terrestrial broadcasters headed by NHK, the tower project began construction on July 14th 2008. It forms the centerpiece of a large commercial development equidistant from Tokyo Skytree and Oshiage train stations, north-east of Tokyo station.

The tower was of course built to be earthquake proof with a unique “vibration-controlling” technology, including a central shaft made of reinforced concrete. The main internal pillar is attached to the outer tower structure 410 ft above ground. From there until 1,230 ft the pillar is attached to the tower frame with oil dampers, which act as cushions during an earthquake. According to the designers, the dampers can absorb 50 percent of the energy from an earthquake.

The tower, which was designed by architect Nikken Sekkei contains 13 elevators, two observation decks at 1,150 ft and 1,480 ft, and cost the equivalent of $440 million USD.


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