The Tokyo International Forum, Japan's largest congress center, is situated on the boundary between Marunouchi, Tokyo's central business area and the Ginza shopping and entertainment district. The International Forum includes two theaters, one among the largest in the world, over 6,000 square meters of exhibition space, several conference rooms, restaurants, shops and other amenities. Designed by architect Rafael Vinoly and completed in 1996, it features swooping curves of steel truss and glass; 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. The outside is shaped like an elongated boat. The two-block granite paved Plaza at the center of the complex serves not only as the entry point for the complex, but as a public space with seating among Zelkova trees and sculptures. The atrium and other structures are linked by two levels of underground space as well as several above ground glass encased catwalks.
Tokyo International Forum
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archibald, January 17th, 2012