What’s that noise?

I think I might be slightly creeped out if I were told I would be working in this building:

I did have to check its papers, of course:

The Gate Tower Building (reportedly known locally as “The Beehive”) is a 16-floor office building located in Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Japan. Construction was completed in 1992. As the photo shows, the Umeda Exit of the Hanshin Expressway passes through the fifth, sixth, and seventh floors. Elevators reach the upper floors by moving along the sides of the building. Besides the elevators and stairways, there do not appear to be any office spaces on floors 5 through 7.

The highway never actually touches the building, thus they are two completely separate structures. A structure covers the highway which supposedly blocks out noises and vibrations from effecting the rest of the tower.

What you want to know, though, is why?

This unusual construction is the result of a compromise which was reached during the 1980s, when redevelopment of the area hit an impasse. A freeway was in the planning stages, but difficulties arose when negotiating with property rights’ holders. Finally in 1989, building codes were revised to include a “Multi-Level Road System” which allowed for this unusual structure to be built.

I can imagine something like this in Austin, Texas, where roads become congested within ten minutes of being built.



  1. fillyjonk »

    29 July 2016 · 5:30 pm

    How do they manage to keep the exhaust from creeping into the building and sickening people? I once worked in a building where delivery trucks sometimes idled next to the air intake and when they did, I had to leave. Eventually someone put up a huge sign saying not to leave your vehicle idling there. (But what kind of idiot puts an air intake DOWN IN THE PARKING LOT?)

  2. ETat »

    30 July 2016 · 10:09 am

    How they manage? By isolating the 5-to-7th flrs. Their air intake is at other levels, and in principle is no different from 1st and 2nd stories of the regular street-level buildings.

    On topic: Glad to see capitalistic right to private property manifests itself globally. Or at least used to.
    With creeping corruption of monumental values one can not be sure of anything anymore.

  3. Joseph Hertzlinger »

    30 July 2016 · 11:55 pm

    Cf. The Train Goes through the Middle of the House

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