Gate Tower Building – Osaka, Japan - Atlas Obscura
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Osaka, Japan

Gate Tower Building

Three floors rented out to the Japanese highway system. 

For the most part, 16-story buildings in Osaka do not stick out that much. That is unless of course, a highway cuts through them, allowing cars to race through the fifth, sixth and seventh floors.

One of the strangest looking sites in the world, the side of the Gate Tower Building simply opens up like a mouth to release traffic coming off of the Hanshin Expressway. Futuristic-looking and against all classic notions of creating high rises, the Gate Tower Building is actually the result of a compromise between the Japanese government and landowners who had staked a claim on the land back in the mid-19th century.

When these landowners tried to build on their land, the government, who had already slated the area for highway development, nixed their plans. Refusing to capitulate, the owners fought tooth and nail until a compromise was struck, resulting in the highway passing through the building.

Amazingly, the highway hardly affects business inside the Gate Tower Building, as the owners installed noise-proofing walls and flooring. Considering how strange of a compromise it was, the only real change is the elevator skipping from the fourth to eighth floor.