Saturday, October 9, 2010

The HAL 9000 Building

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower (モード学園コクーンタワ) is a relatively new building in Shinjuku that I've been passing nearby for months on the way to work, but I only got around to taking some happy snaps of the place the other day.

Better known to me as the HAL 9000 building because it houses HAL Tokyo, a special technology and design college (and it just looks so darned "designer modern", like something that'd be right at home in 2001), the Cocoon Tower was actually completed 2 years ago, designed by Tange Associates, the company set up by famous architect Kenzo Tange.

As far as facts and figures go, the 204-metre-tall (669 ft), 50-storey tower is apparently the second-tallest educational building in the world. I think the highest building I set foot in at Melbourne University clocked in at five storeys, which is a wee bit shorter.

Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower is currently the 17th-tallest building in Tokyo - and it won the Kewpie Doll when it was awarded the 2008 Skyscraper of the Year by

It certainly gets this wayward blog's nominations as well.

While it does stick out like a sore thumb directly outside the West Exit of Shinjuku JR Station, it's the kind of aching digit you're more than happy to put up with.

I guess we could throw in the old punchline here about suffering for art.

And speaking of HAL 9000, here he is for a bit of nostalgia's sake.

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