Tokyo Sky Tree TV tower now world's tallest


Japan can now claim the world’s tallest free-standing television tower as of 3/1, when the under-construction Tokyo Sky Tree rose to a height of 1,971 feet after  workers lifted part of its antenna section into place.

The steel structure eclipsed China’s 1,969-ft Canton Tower, which opened in Guangzhou in September — although both are shorter than the world’s tallest building, Dubai’s 2,717-ft. Burj Khalifa skyscraper.

Tobu Railway, the main investor in the project, told the project costs 65 billion yen (US$790 million).

The tower is scheduled to reach its top height of 2,080 ft. this month and be completed by the end of the year. It’s made of two parts, an outer steel frame and an inner shaft of reinforced concrete, which can move separately to cancel out seismic energies during earthquakes. The tower also uses pilings that fan out underground like the branches of a tree.

A year ago, the tower surpassed the current main combined television and radio transmission tower — the 1,093-ft red-and-white Tokyo Tower (often seen way back when in “Godzilla” movies), a symbol of Japan’s post-WWII rebirth — as the country’s tallest structure.

In early 2012, after Japanese television networks switch entirely to digital, Tokyo Sky Tree will take over their broadcasts. With two observation decks, the tower aims to attract an average 2.7 million visitors every year.

There are also commercial facilities inside the tower compound, including 300 shops and restaurants as well as an aquarium, a planetarium and a dome theatre, said the article.