Tower rendering: Shin-Tokyo Tower Co., Ltd.
By: Lisa Katayama
It doesn’t have a name yet, but when it’s completed in 2011, the 2,001-foot-tall concrete-and-steel tower in the Sumida River region of Tokyo will be the tallest free-standing antenna in the world. Ostensibly, its purpose is to host all of the city’s digital radio and television signals, plus a mobile TV network. But the massive transmitter will also broadcast Japan’s global cultural significance.
It’s no coincidence that the new structure resembles the old 1,092-foot-high Tokyo Tower, which for 50 years stood as a symbol of the nation’s postwar economic independence. Project organizers hope that the superspike — designed with the help of sculptor Kiichi Sumikawa and architect Tadao Ando — will reaffirm Japan’s prowess. Because it will dominate the relatively low-rise landscape, the point will be hard to miss.