Richard Rogers Tomigaya Exhibition Hall, 1990-1992

Tomigaya, Richard Rogers, Project Partner: Laurie Abbott, 1990-1992, unbuilt. images via RHSP

Just as the bubble was popping, a developer asked Richard Rogers to make a building on a tiny, triangular lot in Tomigaya, on the southwest corner of Yoyogi-Kōen. The zoning permitted a 45m height, but only three stories. And project partner Laurie Abbott came up with this all-glass, wedge-shaped exhibition space with movable mezzanines and an external crane to lift yachts and helicopters and such into place.

earlier iteration of Tomigaya exhibition hall concept with adjustable mezzanine heights and external elevators, made from Erector sets or whatever, 1990-1992, Richard Rogers/Laurie Abbott

Obviously, it was never built, because if it existed, I would have already reconfigured my life to have bought it in the overlapping window of post-bubble malaise and dotcom bubble madness, and I’d be living in it today. Probably with a crossfit studio or something renting out the lower level.

Google Maps looking east: I think the site is the triangular bldg on the right with the white marker? Obviously they got a zoning variance to build more than three floors of vanilla condos

Shoutout to Philip Oldfield for identifying the Tomigaya tower as his favorite unbuilt high-tech building on social media, and for Kate Wagner for the tip.

Tomigaya [rhsp]