26 November 2011

Drive - Thru Office.

It's an office building, it's a highway ramp, it's ... well, the Gate Tower Building is a little bit of both.

The Osaka, Japan landmark sometimes called "The Beehive" looks like some future extrapolation of supersaturated city life but in actuality the building/highway combo was  opened nearly 20 years ago in February 1992.

The process which led to this curious urban hybrid dates back almost a decade earlier, to 1983.

The Hanshin Expressway, which opened in 1962 has been branching out to serve the Osaka area's growing population and in the 1980's the addition of several entry and exit ramps were to be added to improve the Expressway. 

A small yet crucial slice of downtown land destined to support the Uneda exit ramp was owned (since the 1870's by a moribund lumber & charcoal firm, and the owner's weren't interested in selling the valuable property rights. 

Since there was no room to shift the exit ramp, the two sides sat down and began to negotiate... and negotiate.... and negotiate... 

 Five years later, the issue was finally resolved though neither side really conceded anything.

In 1992 a 16 story Gate Tower Building was completed.


  1. Love the third pic! Creative for sure.

  2. sooooooo angielina, if somehow you end up working there, when your office day is done you can just stand up from your desk and hitch a ride home.... coolness...

    and yes, so are the pics...