Last weekend, after a long walk around Yokohama we ended up in a curious tower. It turns out that it is one of the tallest lighthouses in Tokyo bay (58 meters/192 feet tall), it has an observatory open to the public and it is surrounded by a park. Built in 1986, in the midst of the Japanese economic boom, with a sumptuous design for just being a simple lighthouse. I like the retrofuturistic halo that it has.
The Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, built in the 70s, is one of the most emblematic buildings in the Akasaka district.
At the beginning of 2011 it was closed down in order to be demolished, but the Tohoku earthquake changed the plans and the hotel reopened to host the victims that lost their houses during the tsunami.
A little bit over a year after, Taisei is in charge of continuing with the demolition plans using a novel technique that they have developed: they dismantle the building from the inside. It looks like the trick is to leave the top floors intact until the end as if they were a “hat”. The top floors are maintained with temporary columns while the lower floors are eliminated. It is difficult to explain, better watch the timelapse video:
The advantage of this method is that it is safer than other demolition methods and is less noisy. Taisei plans to use this method from now on to demolish buildings that are over 100 meters tall.
In the plot of land left by the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, Seibu Holding plans to build a brand new hotel next year.
Even though there are almost no objects that were left in the rooms, the general atmosphere of the place reminds us of Nichitsu ghost town. In the kitchen there are several things left but in the rooms there’s barely some futons.
One of the things I like the most about abandoned places is that the lightning is ideal to take photos. The soft light that enters through the dirty windows is very good to play with our cameras. Now I’m using a Fujifilm X100 and a Nikon D800 with a 50mm F/1.2 manual lens.