Tokyo Big Sight

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The Conference Tower

Tokyo Big Sight (東京ビッグサイト Tōkyō Biggu Saito?) is the popular nickname for the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (東京国際展示場 Tōkyō Kokusai Tenjijō?), a Japanese convention center that opened in April 1996.[1] Located in Ariake, Tokyo Bay, the center is one of the largest convention venues within the city, and its most iconic representation is the visually distinctive Conference Tower.

Tokyo Big Sight is a planned venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics and will host wrestling, fencing and taekwondo events, in addition to serving as the main broadcasting center and press center for the Games.[2]

Construction[edit]

The Entrance Hall

Contracted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Finance, the construction of the entire site was handled by eight contractors in total, among them companies such as the Hazama and Shimizu Corporations. Construction efforts began in October 1992 and were finalized in October 1995, the contract in total worth no less than 40,392 million Yen.[3] Forty-five percent of that sum went towards the sole handler of the Tower segment, the Hazama Corporation.

The former Governor of Tokyo, Shunichi Suzuki, had the honour of commencing the 1994 lifting-up ceremony on June 30, which initiated the operation of raising the Tower's 6500-ton main structure above ground,[3] a process which took three days to complete using a computer-guided system that precisely jacked the structure up into place.[4] A 250-ton aerial escalator was installed later to formally link the raised structure to the ground floors.

Overview[edit]

Located within Ariake in Kōtō, Tokyo, the Big Sight's most distinctive feature is the unique architecture of its 58 m-high eight-storey Conference Tower. The site utilizes steel frame with reinforced concrete construction,[5] boasting a total floor area of 230,873 m² which outsizes Makuhari Messe's floor space by half,[3] and of which 35% is indoors. The convention center is divided into three main areas, each with their own supporting facilities such as restaurants: The East Exhibition Hall, the West Exhibition Hall and the Conference Tower.[6]

Conference Tower[edit]

As seen from the ground

The architectural element most associated with the Tokyo Big Sight name, the glass and titanium-panelled Conference Tower appears as a set of four inverted pyramids mounted upon large supports. The first floor comprises an 1100-seat reception hall and four conference rooms of varying size. The second floor comprises the Entrance Plaza which is the main access area, the glass-roofed Event Plaza, the Entrance Hall which leads to the exhibition halls proper, and the Exhibition Plaza.[7] There are no floors three through five due to the structure's above-ground stature.

Floors six and seven can be directly accessed via escalator from the second-floor Entrance Hall, and comprise the main convention facilities of the Tower. The sixth floor houses ten conference rooms of small to medium size, some of which can be merged into larger spaces by removing intervening partitions.[7] Floor seven houses the 1000-seat International Conference Room as well as three conference rooms of much smaller size. Floor eight houses five conference rooms.

Scattered around the Tower's vicinity are public art pieces, most of which are works by international artists such as Claes Oldenburg and his wife Coosje Van Bruggen, Michael Craig-Martin and Lee U-Fan. These include a giant sculpture of a saw, a large stylized pond and three marble beds.[8]

East Exhibition Hall[edit]

The central Galleria

The East Exhibition Hall's main layout consists of a central 600 m-long two-tiered galleria, flanked on both sides by three mostly identical exhibition halls, and has underground parking available.[9] The overall height of the structure is three storeys, with the galleria reaching two storeys. The glass-roofed galleria is equipped with moving walkways for easier movement, food outlets, escalators, electronic signboards and a host of other relevant facilities.

Each hall has a mobile roof that enables exhibitors to control the amount of sunlight coming through, recessed electronic and control service pits at regular intervals (six meters), a show office, four meeting rooms and a dressing room. It is possible to merge a hall with adjacent halls on the same side, allowing for a maximum continuous floor space three times the capacity of a single hall, or a grand total of 26,010 m².

Unlike its West counterpart, the East Exhibition Hall is not located next to the main Conference Tower area.

West Exhibition Hall[edit]

The Atrium on a busy day

The West Exhibition Hall's layout consists of four internal halls surrounding a central two-tiered Atrium. Halls one and two occupy the first floor, and are each equipped with a single meeting room, two show offices and seven meeting rooms. If necessary, they can be merged with the glass-roofed atrium area to maximize all available exhibition space. Halls three and four are individually smaller than the first floor halls, as the rest of the space not taken up by the Atrium's upper area is largely the rooftop exhibition area.

Adjacent to the West Exhibition Hall is an outdoor exhibition area, which like the rooftop area overlooks the waterfront. Like the other exhibition areas in the Tokyo Big Sight, it is possible to combine both upper halls and both spaces together to create a single continuous floor area. All in all, the West Exhibition Hall boasts in total six show offices, twenty-three meeting rooms and three dressing rooms. The gross total floor area of the Hall stands at 46,280 m².

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 35°37′48.57″N 139°47′37.47″E / 35.6301583°N 139.7937417°E / 35.6301583; 139.7937417