The Japanese city of Osaka is a benchmark for urbanism and the most contemporary and futuristic architecture. Starting with the Kansai airport itself, which, built on a huge artificial island, becomes one of the main entrances to the city, where some of the tallest skyscrapers in the country await us.
Umeda Sky Building in Osaka
One of them is the Umeda Sky Building, a work of the architect Hara Hiroshi, which was built in 1993, at the time which with its 173 meters high became the tallest in the city and the country. Although at present, it is no longer like that.
The project for this construction was part of a more complete urban action that was to create the space Shin Umeda City. And within this project the skyscraper was going to have four towers. But finally for technical reasons, the approach was reduced to two.
They are two symmetrical towers, with showy glass facades, which at their highest part are joined by a 54 x 54 meter platform. It must be said that both towers were erected at the same time, and in the meantime the platform was being built independently in another place. After that, it was transported and hoisted to such a height by huge cranes. And so it settled and fit between the two towers, to become one of the most famous viewpoints in the city, where it wasknown as the Floating Garden Observatory.
In addition to the views offered by this viewpoint, the experience of going up to it is already very remarkable, since the entire building is covered by glass elevators that take us to the upper floors. And there you take some aerial escalators that can be seen in the gap between towers. Some stairs that go in a large transparent tube, so that the futuristic aspect of the access is impressive.
Calling that platform a floating garden, is due to two factors. On the one hand because there is obviously a garden up there. But what is floating is due to the glazing that closes the façade. They are very careful crystals to reflect sunlight and the appearance of the sky. So depending on how you look at the building and how the light falls on it, the façade seems not to exist, completely reflecting the sky of that day. And it seems almost magic, but only the observatory is seen at the top. Without a doubt a most evocative sight.
But in addition to that viewpoint, the Umeda Sky building is logically occupied, since from the beginning it was conceived as a place for housing and also for offices, in addition to the leisure offer it has. From numerous restaurants, upstairs and downstairs, to a movie theater and various event spaces. All in all, a wonderful example of glass architecture.