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Do As Tokyo Does Paper Buildings
(Entered Nov. 21, 2005)
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In an earthquake prone country like Japan, you'd think that they'd be really careful when building buildings. It comes as something of a surprise then to find buildings that look like they were modelled after dominos.

paper buildings

Well space is at a premium here and I guess it's necessary to build in every space available, even if the available space is only as wide as the sidewalk. Or is it a conspiricy? Nowadays in Japan, buildings are supposed to be earthquake resistant. Of course they haven't really been given a serious test, but the way it works is that when the big one hits, the buildings are constructed in such a way that they move with the earthquake, instead of resisting it, so as to deflect the energy (or something hazy like that). But what if it's all just a hoax? Maybe the construction companies are just telling us what we want to hear, and after all the buildings are rubble they'll make a fortune rebuilding? Well they got sloppy this time and now their plan has been exposed.
I threw in this second picture just so you would believe me that the thing in the first picture is actually a building, and not a lamp post. Oh, and in case you were wondering, the building is only slightly wider than me with my arms outstretched.

paper buildings

Buildings like this are not that uncommon though. The Japanese seem to have trouble with the concept of the apartment building with rooms on both sides of the hallway. Most apartment buildings over here seem to have only a narrow hallway with rooms only on one side. In this case though they took it to the extreme. One can only wonder if there are offices up there, and whether or not the workers have to climb over the photocopy machine to get to the elevator (there actually is an elevator). I'm not an architect or anything, but it seems to me that buildings work better when they're built in 3 dimensions.



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