28 Oct 2010

2 roads: shuto expressway - a week of infrastructure

Shuto Expressway route C2, meets route 4, Shinjuku-line. Above the intersection of Koshu Kaido and Yamate-dori.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway is without doubt the most outstanding and important structure in the fabric of the city. Massive concrete and steel beams support a vast network of roadways that weaves its way through the entire capital, its tentacles stretching as far as the outlying districts of Yokohama, Saitama and Chiba. This traffic roller-coaster flies through and over the cityscape, skimming low-lying rooftops, snaking between towering office blocks and diving into underground tunnels. It adds a further dynamic dimension to the hilly Tokyo landscape, drawing attention to the constantly changing levels and differences between areas, whether industrial, residential or commercial. This three-dimensional, sequential space has no comparison worldwide.
Tajima N. - Tokyo: A Guide To Recent Architecture, 1995.

Expressway, railway and a channel. The layers of infrastructure meets. The picture is take from the Tokyo Monorail, as the expressway built for the Olympics in 1964, a fourth layer on top of the others.

There are lot of bad things also to be said about the expressway and the barriers it creates, the shadows it casts and so on. But still, the pure joy of movement felt when travelling on it is hard to beat, the futurist in me feels joy. To experience it as temporary visitor the most convenient way it to use the bus from Narita Airport. For travellers to and from Haneda I strongly recommend the monorail.

Shuto Expressway in Ginza. This used to be a channel. The colour red signals danger.

And some pictures from below.
The road almost seems to float in air.
Ikejiri-Ohashi junction.

More pictures herehere and here

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