PROF. RICHARD BUCKMINSTER FULLER’S ORIGINAL DESIGN FOR TOKYO TOWER
presented for educational purposes by the
Tokyo Global Engineering Corporation
IN PRAISE OF FULLER:
THE TOKYO TOWER THAT NEVER WAS
Postbellum Tokyo saw the world’s greatest demand for television broadcasting and, being densely populated, also saw little tolerance for multiple small and moderately-sized broadcasting towers. The need for a single, giant tower became obvious and, with the aim of outdoing France, Prof. Fuller was asked, specifically, to design a tower for Tokyo that would be taller than the Eiffel Tower.
In 1936, Tokyo was selected as the location of the Games of the XII Olympiad (the Tokyo 1940 Summer Olympics), which was rescheduled as the Games of the XVIII Olympiad (the Tokyo 1964 Summer Olympics), which ran in conjunction with the 13th International Stoke Mandeville Games (the Tokyo 1964 Summer Paralympics). Thus, Prof. Fuller, bearing in mind that Tokyo wanted and needed something very tall, including for international sport, designed a tower with a stadium, 2,438 meters in height—tall enough to ensure broadcasting across the nation-state.
Television executives would opt for form, over function, and, true to their lone mandate regarding form (that the selected design be taller than the Eiffel Tower), they opted for a design that is only thirty-three meters taller than Paris’ landmark. This design would immediately prove insufficient, for broadcasting purposes, which was partially remedied with the installation of Tokyo Skytree, in 2012, a design that recognizes Prof. Fuller’s work on the importance of triangles, as seen in the original design.
In advance of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad (the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics) and the XVI Paralympic Games (the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics), the Tokyo Global Engineering Corporation has reviewed Prof. Fuller’s original pen-and-ink design for Tokyo Tower, and preserved it, electronically, for academic purposes.
In gratitude to its most cherished supporters, the Tokyo Global Engineering Corporation occasionally gives framed reprints of Prof. Fuller’s original design. However, because the true original is copyrighted (and thus not viewable via the Web), such reprints may be displayed for academic purposes only, and cannot be bought or sold. If you, the reader, have encountered a reprint, know that the location where it is displayed is one of global importance.
…and, please, don’t leave that location, until you have done something great for this planet.