The Shimizu TRY 2004 Mega-City Pyramid
is a proposed project for construction of a massive pyramid over Tokyo Bay in Japan. The structure would be 55 times higher than the Great Pyramid at Giza, and would house 750,000 people. If built, it would be the largest man-made structure in Earth's history. The structure would be 730 meters AMSL, including 5 stacked trusses, each with similar dimensions to that of the great pyramid of Giza. This pyramid would help answer Tokyo's increasing lack of space, although the project would only handle 1/47th of the Greater Tokyo Area's population. The idea partially stems from the fictional architectural marvel of the Tyrell Corporation, which appear several times in the 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner
, as a duo of futuristic pyramidal structures.
The proposed structure is so large that it cannot be built with currently available materials, due to their weight. The design relies on the future availability of super-strong lightweight materials based on carbon nanotubes
Proposed start of construction has not been announced.
The Shimizu Corporation has been dreaming of these plans for almost a decade now and it could someday become a reality. The Shimizu company has constructed great structures such as the Taiwan High Speed Rail, Pakxe Bridge and Shah Amanat International Airport and now they look at a structure 730 meters high.
The progress so far is not based on the structure itself, but on how it will work. As research has been conducted on robotics in Japan the progress so far is that, at best, robots slowly carrying loads over 2,500 meters are very unsteady, still falling now and then.
Dr. Toshiaki Fuijimori says that within the next year, the project's initial stage will hopefully be started.
Perimeter of the foundation above ground would be 2,000 metres (2,200 yd). Area of the foundation is 8 square kilometres (3.1 sq mi). Infrastructure is an area of approximately 25 square kilometres (9.7 sq mi). Gross building area is about 88 square kilometres (34 sq mi) of facilities layers:
- Layers 1 to 3: residential, offices, etc.
- Layers 4 to 5: research, leisure, etc.
The height of each layer is 146.4 m (for 5 layers, the pyramid is 730m tall).
The pyramid structure would be composed of 204 smaller pyramids stacked eight high. Each of these smaller pyramids would be about the size of the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
The building would be zoned into residential, commercial and leisure areas. 50 km² would be given over to some 240,000 housing units, enough for 750,000 people. Each building would have its own energy resources (sun and wind). About 24 km² would be assigned to offices and commercial facilities intended to employ 800,000 people. The remaining 14 km² would be used for research and leisure purposes.
Advantages and disadvantages
Some advantages include that this city would have more rapid mobility, that the city will be better protected from tsunamis, and that it helps solve the high-prices for land in Tokyo. A major weakness in this project is that if one truss fails the whole structure and 750,000 people will crash to the sea. However it is highly probable that in the future a solution to this problem will be found.
Ideally, the city will be powered by renewable energy. Unfortunately, getting power from the sea is extremely difficult as a tsunami or tidal wave could wipe out any water turbines. Another proposal is to use algae to power the mega city. Solar power and wind power are also options. Even given many advances, the Mega-City Pyramid seems like an impossible job, but the people at Shimizu are confident they can reach their goal of building the greatest man-made structure in history.
Materials and construction process
First, the pyramid's foundation would be formed by 36 piers made of special concrete.
Because the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire cuts right through Japan, the external structure of the pyramid would be an open network of megatrusses, supporting struts made from carbon nanotubes to allow the pyramid to stand against and let through high winds, and survive earthquakes and tsunamis.
The trusses would be coated with photovoltaic film to convert sunlight into electricity and help power the city. The city will also be powered by pond scum or algae.
Large robots would assemble the truss structure, and air bladders would be used to elevate trusses above the first layer using a construction system proposed by Italian architect Dante Bini. Spheroid nodes at the connections between trusses would provide structural support and serve as transfer points for travelers.
Australian Company, Straight Edge Tiling have secured a contract for the internal tiling of the Pyramid. CEO Daiman Cartan met with construction engineer David Dimitric and lawyer Tavis Gorman in December 2007 to discuss innovative concepts regarding the huge task, as well as legal boundaries, to which an agreement was made
Interior traffic and buildings
Transportation within the city would be provided by accelerating walkways, inclined elevators, and a personal rapid transit system where automated pods would travel within the trusses.
Housing and office space would be provided by twenty four or more 30-story high skyscrapers suspended from above and below, and attached to the pyramid's supporting structure with nanotube cables.