Japan builds Tokyo Sky Tree, world’s tallest tower

Tim Hornyak/CNET)

TOKYO–Nearly a year after the magnitude-9.0 quake that pummeled Japan, construction of the world’s tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree, is now complete.

Builder Obayashi, which recently announced plans for a space elevator to start services by 2050, declared the Sky Tree complete ahead of a ceremony Friday. While the world’s tallest man-made structure remains the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 829 meters (2,720 feet), the Sky Tree tops the list of the tallest free-standing towers at 634 meters (2,080 feet).

It’s 34 meters taller than the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China, and nearly twice the height of its predecessor, Tokyo Tower (333 meters). Operated by Tobu Railways and a consortium of media companies, the Sky Tree will serve as a digital terrestrial broadcasting center for Tokyo and the surrounding Kanto region.

The achievement came amid snowy weather in Tokyo. Falling ice from the structure has been a problem for nearby companies and residences in Sumida Ward, a heretofore quiet district on the eastern bank of the Sumida River.

The land is known to be relatively unstable and much of the area was reclaimed from Tokyo Bay long ago. But engineers say the Sky Tree will… [Read more]

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