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Friday, January 30, 2009

Astounding Japanese Highways & Interchanges

Japan saw most of its infrastructure bombed back to the stone age in the final years of World War II, which makes the country's post-war rejuvenation all the more astounding. Huge, complex public works projects saw a concrete & steel web of highways, bridges and interchanges blossom from the wreckage of war.

Today, shaped by the demands of restrictive space and economic boom & bust, Japan 's hardened transportation arteries display artistic forms that go far beyond their functions.

Above left is the Hakozaki Junction, part of the Metropolitan Expressway in Tokyo , and at right is the Hokko Junction in Osaka ... These images illustrate the solution engineers used when building multi-lane highway interchanges in some of the world's most crowded cities in Japan.

Which came first, the highway or the building? The question is moot as both have learned to accommodate one another. The Hanshin Expressway takes a shortcut through the 5th to 7th floors of Fukushima 's Gate Tower building, also known as the Bee Hive.


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