Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building Two
2-8-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo Japan
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If Tokyo City Hall tower one is a pair of tall elegant birch trees climbing into the sky, then this building is the hacked off stump next door. TMGO 2 combines some of the best angles and architectural elements of its big sister, but lacks its height and magnificence, and therefore its popularity and prestige. TMGO 1's twin observation decks are among the top ten tourist attractions in Tokyo, leaving this building literally and figuratively overlooked by the masses. But it shouldn't be. The building features the same vertical aspirations as its larger sibling, with multiple setbacks and recesses to emphasize height, and then toward its zenith the design turns 45 degrees as if a duplicate of the building is growing out of itself. The result is visually pleasing, but borne out of structural considerations. In an earthquake the building doesn't sway. Instead, it twists, allowing it to disperse more energy through more members and with less motion, keeping the building intact.

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