Cocoon Tower Shinjuku’s newest skyscraper

December 4, 2008 · Print This Article

I thought that Cocoon Tower was just a nickname.  However, when I saw “COCOON TOWER” over the main entrance, it hit me that that was really the name of Shinjuku’s newest skyscraper.  Thus the 17th tallest building in Tokyo (sounds sad) is named after something that could also be the name of Mothra’s egg receptacle.  Since I’ve lived in the heart of Shinjuku for over five years, such a radical change to my daily view of the city takes some getting used to.  The design of Cocoon Tower is not something one can come to an opinion on upon first viewing.  It is at once totally out of place among Shinjuku’s other more staid skyscrapers, but also maybe a welcome shake up to the skyline.

The cocoon moniker is deserved, as both the building’s shape and outer glass facade have a fairly convincing resemblance to a high-tech cocoon.  On sunny days the glass of this facade has a blue hue to it.  On overcast days or in shadow, it appears gray.  If the curves of the building are unpleasing when viewed from afar, a close-up and straight-up view will reveal some elegant curves that soar all the way up to its summit.

For some reason Cocoon Tower was given a companion triangle-checkered globe.  As cool as it looks from the outside, on the inside it is stark, sterile and on the day I visited, boring.  The above photo is the view from the inside out of the globe’s triangular window pattern.  

It never occurred to me to go to the top of the tower on the multiple trips I made to compile the photographs for the gallery below.

COCOON TOWER PHOTO GALLERY: 
The angle I believe Cocoon Tower looks the best Cocoon Tower as seen from Nishi-Shinjuku, street level Making Cocoon Tower look small from Nishi-Shinjuku
Quite a job cleaning all that glass, no doubt. The intricate crossing structure of the fixtures holding the building's external glass coverings A mysterious globe building, that was actually quite unexciting on the inside
What the inside of the strange globe looks like I can't decide if the main entrance to the building is grand or strangely small Curves leading to the top.
Cocoon Tower rises from a forest! An external staircase leading to the basement area This view greets you upon walking through the main entrance.
Quite a cool overhead for an escalator, looks a bit like Space Mountain Below the globe through the roof view. Glowing from the inside out
The upper front face of Cocoon Tower    

Comments

11 Responses to “Cocoon Tower Shinjuku’s newest skyscraper”

  1. on December 4th, 2008 2:29 AM

    I think it looks pretty cool.

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    I may have to finally decide one way or the other in my mind about this building, and I think I’ll end up agreeing with you.

    Reply

  2. on December 4th, 2008 10:41 AM

    This building was almost my first impression of Tokyo since we came in on the Shinkansen and took the train to Shinjuku where we were staying. I completely fell in love with it. It is architecture as sculpture – the good kind that makes you want to touch it!

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Wow, your first impression of Tokyo? I wonder if the designers of the building knew that would be the case for many people when they chose that design. It would certainly give one a much different impression I think than people who visited before it was built.

    Did you actually touch it??

    Reply

    Danielle Reply:

    I did take a break on a pylon in front of the station at one point and gazed up at it for at least 20minutes while I waited for hubby to go hunting for something. I had a high fever at the time and I was definitely communing with it but I’d rather not divulge the content :)

    Reply

  3. on December 4th, 2008 5:33 PM

    Cocoon! Just saw you took shots of it. Is on my schedule to go shoot it also. Nice- will have to aim to take different shots than you.

    Reply

  4. on December 5th, 2008 4:16 PM

    I sure hope Mothra was in that Cocoon.

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Love your gravatar Koichi. I for one, never believed that Mothra and her two worms could ever defeat Godzilla.

    Reply

    Koichi Reply:

    I know, right?

    Mothra redeems himself in later films, at least :)

    Reply

  5. Jei
    on December 7th, 2008 12:15 PM

    My first impression of Tokyo came from the To-cho which is also a pretty amazing set of buildings.

    Tokyo has so many amazing, artistic buildings on a small scale, so it’s nice to see something ambitious on a large scale. I’m not sure if it works for me either, but I respect that they tried something exciting.

    Thanks for the pics as always.

    Reply

    Jason Collin Reply:

    Thanks Jei….yeah, what you said, at least they are trying something new and exciting. There is another skyscraper about 3/4th finished in Nishi-Shinjuku and so far it looks very square, figuratively and literally.

    Reply

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