I wasn’t sure when I saw this tower for the first time whether or not it was a hoax. It’s like something between the Eiffel Tower and Gaudi’s Park Guell… something made out of papier-mâché and photoshopped into the landscape. It looks so out of place and pretty unreal. And yet, it is real.
It was designed by the leader of the Perfect Liberty Church, a religious movement founded in 1924. It was built in 1970 and towers almost 600 feet in height. If you’re interested, the PL Peace Tower, as it is known, can be found in Tondabayashi, a city close to Osaka, Japan.
In the church’s statement, ‘the tower stands as a monument to all the perished souls of war throughout all time.’ Within the tower is a shrine with a golden container, inside which all known names of the lives claimed in human conflict have been recorded on microfilm.
Since I’m into architecture, I was interested to find out that the structure was built with the then-newly-discovered technique of ‘shotcrete‘, formed by spraying concrete onto a wire netting. Due to its low center of gravity (just 12 meters above ground level), the construction is extremely earthquake resistant and could lift itself up again in the unusual case of it tilting 45 degrees. I’m looking forward to capturing this moment in a video.
Pretty cool to discover that it’s possible to create something with these odd dimensions and have it signed off by the authorities.
Image by Juergen Specht