The Building With a Highway Running Through It

May 8, 2023

The Gate Tower Building in Osaka, Japan, is a 16-story building that has a unique characteristic unlike other buildings. It has a highway running right through the middle of it.

The highway runs between the fifth and seventh floors of the building, and the highway is the tenant on those floors. The highway tunnels through the building and comes out the other side.

The property owners originally wanted to redevelop the land when approval for such a thing had been granted by the government in 1983. The problem was, the government refused to issue building permits because a highway had already been planned to run through the area.

The owners of the land negotiated with the Hanshin Expressway corporation for five years until they came up with the solution to run the highway directly through the building. It was eventually completed in 1992. The highway doesn’t touch the building in any way, but the highway department still must pay rent on the floors it occupies.

There is sound-proofing on the walls and floor of the building next to the tunnel to eliminate road noise for the workers inside, and since the tunnel is held up by pillars, it doesn’t touch the building, ensuring there are no vibrations from the roadway. The elevators run on the outside of the building and travel from floors one to four and eight to 16. Floors five through seven of the elevator are marked “Hanshin Expressway” and can’t be reached.

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Daniel Ganninger - The writer, editor, and chief lackey of Knowledge Stew, the author of the Knowledge Stew line of trivia books, and editor of Fact World and the Knowledge Stew sister site on Medium, our ad-free subscription sites (you can find out how to join below). I hope you find things here to annoy those around you with your new found knowledge.

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