Leave it to Japan to turn one of the dirtiest and noisiest processes of the urban lifecycle – the demolition of highrises – into a neat, quiet and almost cute affair.
As much fun as it sounds, demolition companies don't tackle most jobs with a heavy swinging ball. Taking down a largish building requires extensive crane work, temporary scaffolding and a fleet of heavy machines grinding around on the rooftop. But Japanese construction company Taisei, which is behind the world's tallest concept skyscraper, is pioneering a type of building butchery that seals all these messy elements into an adorable "big hat."
"It's kind of like having a disassembly factory on top of the building and putting a big hat there, and then the building shrinks," says one Taisei engineer, according to this report in the Japan Times.
Some of this shrinking process can be seen in this video...
Recall William Gibson's Idoru. Recall how after the big earthquake, parts of Tokyo are rebuilt by Russian nanonbots. Recall the eeriness of the silent but steady rise of the new skyscrapers. This new kind of demolition has some of that eeriness, but in reverse.