Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super Dry Hall or Flamme d'Or

The Asahi Beer building located in Asakusa and conceived by interior designer turned architect Philippe Starck, is one of Tōkyō's most notable modern landmarks. It has earned itself several unflattering nicknames among those who disdain its flashy self-important style (one such name is "the golden turd" or kin no unchi) but it will please those who recognize its sleek modern flair. Perhaps most notable for the Asahi Flame, an enormous golden structure at the top, said to represent both the 'burning heart of Asahi beer' and a frothy head. The 360-ton golden flame was made by shipbuilders using submarine-construction techniques and is completely empty. The building itself is covered with highly polished black granite with small portholes for windows which are almost invisible from a distance. The walls of the building curve gently outward towards the top, creating in effect a giant pedestal or 'beer mug' for the gold flame on top.

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