Meet Tokyo's Amazing "Shrinking" Building

Skip to the 1:00 min mark for the really cool part.

Article here

Shouldn’t that be The Incredible Shrinking Building?
You need to reserve “Amazing” for the Amazing Colossal Building.

Impressive, I have to admit. It certainly cuts down on the trauma to surrounding buildings and the unwanted dust and contamination.

There’s something in the article that doesn’t seem right.

In the video, it looks like it’s the upper floors which are being dismantled. As that cap section (the wider part) descends, the rows of windows below it are stationary, not sinking towards the ground.

Was that wider section an original part of the building, or was it built around it just to contain the dismantling equipment? And where is the material going? Are the beams, windows, etc. staying in that upper section, or are they being lowered to the ground (presumably on the far side of the building)?

I wonder how much it costs to tear down a building that way, as a percentage of what it cost to build originally?

Ike Witt: If they can remove beams intact, those can probably be resold so I imagine that will help defray costs considerably.

Robot Arm: Interesting questions. I had assumed that the top of the building was like that, which seemed sort of convenient - admittedly. But I think part of what might be going on is that the lower windows of the the protruding part are concealing some of the stuff that would otherwise be visible.

This has probably been done many times before but because of the design of the this particular building, the deconstruction can be made to appear almost “magical.”

I started with the opposite assumption, that the upper section in the video was a temporary fixture that was added just for this purpose. The wording in the article made me question that, though.

There is a book out there, written in the 1980s I believe, that takes as its premise the need to dismantle the Empire State Building. I remember reading part of it and it was one of those cases of “you have no idea how much trouble you’re getting into.”

It looks to me as if this Japanese building has had a debris and weather shield built around the floors being demolished - that’s the external band thingy. What I cant figure out is why they are bothering dismantling and removing lower floors - couldn’t the shield thingy be adapted to let them dismantle things from the top floor down? The whole “jacking each floor down” step seems unnecessarily complicated and risky.

Robot Arm is right. Here’s a picture of the hotel, the stuff at the top is an addition to aid the deconstruction process (note the wikipeida article also says the deconstructino is “top down”)

Nitro, Because then the jacks don’t have such a big load to carry the way they would if you had them at the bottom to start. They only ever have to carry the top floor and the demolition shield. Also, if there’s a failure in the jacking, only the stuff on top might fall. If the jacks are at the bottom and they fail, all of the remaining building could fall at once. And it might not come straight down.

But it looks as if they are actually carrying several floors. Why carry any at all; why not dismantle from the top down? - the shield could be moved down way building cranes are jumped up and down, with connections and jacks along the sides.

I imagine that they like leaving the original roof on to keep the weather out. Probably helps prevent weather related accidents as well as allowing the demolition to happen Indoors. Just a WAG.

ETA: boy, there’s a LOT of 911 conspiracy stuff out there when you google “Top down Demolition.”

So I see you’ve discovered my ulterior motivation for this thread. BWAHAHAHA!!! :wink: :smiley:

That was David Macauley’s book Unbuilding.

Macaulay has written a number of excellent books, including the wonderful The Way Things Work

Seems a little weird to be taking down such a large building after only 30 years. Anyone know what’s wrong with it?

Thanks. Could not bring the title to mind. Agree about the author.

They need to make way for a grassy knoll.

I think the lifespan of buildings in Japan, and the heavily-developed coastal cities of Asia generally, is much shorter than the US and the West, in part due to the stratospheric land prices. Once a building is seen as outdated and unfashionable, it becomes so unprofitable that rebuilding is a cost-effective option.

I was thinking it might be one of his. I got him to sign a copy of Motel of the Mysteries several years ago.