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An Odd Building in Japan

In the early 1980s, a piece of land in downtown Osaka, Japan, was due for an upgrade. The landowners wanted a big new building on the valuable real estate. The highway department planned an expressway through the neighborhood, and wanted to put an exit ramp across the property. The ensuing fight stalled both plans for years. But eventually a compromise was reached, and both were built on the same plot of land. You can see how they did that in the picture above.    

The Gate Tower is one of the strangest buildings in Japan with a freeway running through the center in a tunnel. Plans for the building began in 1983 and because of difficulties in negotiations, it was delayed until changes in the building codes could be legislated and passed to allow its legal construction. Previously, buildings and highways were not allowed to be built in such close proximity. The building was completed in 1992.

The Gate Tower is just one of Ten of the Weirdest Looking Buildings in Japan. Others include a small private home with 32 rooms, homes built on top of other homes, a home with holes in it, and more.

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The description of the last building says: "...the weirdest thing about this building is that it was designed so each room is facing the central garden. This is a new approach that we’ve not seen in any other type of architecture. Although it seems to work, it is well off of the beaten path and is definitely a new direction for modern architecture."

I would just like to point out that this is exactly how Roman villas were designed, everything faced the central courtyard. Even houses out in the country didn't have exterior facing windows. Nothing new under the sun.
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