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Photographer's Note

Tokyo's International forum was designed by Rafael Viρoly Architects and was completed in 1997.

The Tokyo International Forum is an exhibition and concert hall and conference center in Tokyo, Japan. One of its halls seats 5,000. In addition to seven other halls, it includes exhibition space, a lobby, restaurants, shops, and other facilities. It features swooping curves of steel truss and glass; the outside is shaped like an elongated boat.

The Glass Hall is often seen as the continuation of a European tradition from the 19th century to build huge open constructions in glass and cast iron such as London's Crystal Palace or the Grand Palais in Paris.

The soaring Glass Hall serves as the main reception area for the Forum. By using laminated glass the architects were able to allow sunlight into the below ground Lobby area. Laminated glass was also used for several walkways and bridges giving them the appearance of flying across space.
A ramp along the length of the Glass Hall, leading to the top of the building, is intersected by a number of bridges that, in addition to connecting spaces, work as horizontal struts to resist the wind pressure on the walls of the Glass Hall.
Semicircular steel girders are suspended from the 210 meter long ceiling in a design which mimics the wooden frame of a ship.
The Glass Hall facade uses approximately 20,000 square meters of 17.5mm laminated, heat-strengthened glass.
Laminated glass is made by sandwiching a plastic interlayer between two panes of glass and has been commonly found in car windshields for nearly 60 years.
By using laminated glass, architects were able to meet both the aesthetic needs of the center's design, as well as provide the safety and comfort features necessary for a structure that would be highly populated.

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Additional Photos by Paul Bulteel (pauloog) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 77 N: 1882] (11751)
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