Highway Through Building- Japan

Written by on April 13, 2024

The Gate Tower Building is a 16-floor office building in Japan. It is notable for the highway offramp of the Ikeda Route that passes through the building.

A wood and charcoal business held the property rights for the plot of land since the early Meiji period, but the gradual move to other sources of fuel resulted in the deterioration of those company buildings. In 1983, redevelopment of the area was approved, but building permits were refused because the highway was already being planned. The property rights’ holders refused to give up, and negotiated with the Hanshin Expressway corporation for approximately five years to reach the current solution.

Although normally highway corporations purchase the land they build a highway on or over, it is not guaranteed to succeed and therefore issues like this can arise. For that reason, the highway laws, city planning laws, city redevelopment laws and building codes were partly revised in 1989 to allow the unified development of highways and buildings in the same space. This system was originally designed to facilitate the construction of the second ring road in the vicinity of Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo, but in the end was not applied there. Instead, the system was put into effect in the construction of the Gate Tower Building, becoming Japan’s first building to have a highway pass through it. Normally, highways are still built underground in these cases, and passing through a building is an extremely rare occurrence.

[Source: https://www.forbes.com]

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