High Drama, No. 4: Government behemoth
The main tower of the Tokyo metropolitan government office building is such a familiar part of the skyline that it is easy to forget that its very existence was once controversial. Nowadays, it is just another part of the forest of tall buildings west of Shinjuku Station, but when its 1988-91 construction was completed, the 243-meter twin-spired tower was the tallest building in Japan.
It was also very expensive, as part of a three-building complex that cost ¥156.9 billion (not adjusted for inflation). Designed by famous architect Kenzo Tange (1913-2005), the complex also includes a 163-meter office building to the south of the main tower, and the much lower Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly building to the east. The tower and the assembly building are linked by raised walkways enclosing a large semicircular plaza lined with statues, one of which is seen in the top photo of this post.
The complex, covering about 42,940 square meters of land, went up during the administration of Tokyo Gov. ...