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When Eiffel met Gaudi in Japan

Peace tower

I wasn’t sure when I saw this tower for the first time whether or not it was a hoax. Something between the Eiffel Tower and Gaudi’s Park Guell… something made out of papier-mâché and photoshopped into the landscape. It looks so out of place and pretty unreal. Nevertheless, the tower exists. It was built in 1970 and boasts almost 600 feet in height.

peace tower

Not bad for a design by the founder of the Perfect Liberty Church, using clay. The PL Peace Tower is in Tondabayashi, a city close to Osaka, Japan, and belongs to this religious movement, founded in 1924. In their statement, ‘the tower stands as a monument to all the perished souls of war throughout all time.’ Within the tower is a shrine with a golden container, inside which all known names of the lives claimed in human conflict have been recorded on microfilm. 

Since I’m into architecture, I was interested to find out that the structure was built with the then-newly-discovered technique of 'shotcrete', formed by spraying concrete onto a wire netting. Due to its low center of gravity (just 12 meters above ground level), the construction is extremely earthquake resistant and could lift itself up again in the unusual case of it tilting 45 degrees. I’m looking forward to capturing this moment in a video.

Pretty cool to discover that it’s still possible to create something with these odd dimensions and have it signed off by the authorities.

Image by Juergen Specht

HL

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