Sure, blowing up something is easy – but try taking it apart piece by piece.
That's exactly what is happening with the Grand Prince Hotel in the Akasaka district in Tokyo. Slowly but surely, the building is losing its height, through a deconstruction process being used by Taisei Corp., a Japanese construction firm.
The team is working with a new process called the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System, or TECOREP for short. It uses deconstruction rather than full-on demolition, in an effort to eliminate unnecessary noise and dirt that normally come from a building demolition. It's a bit costlier, but still an effective system when it comes to the removal of buildings like the Grand Prince Hotel.
"In this demolition scheme, the building shrinks and disappears without you noticing," said Hideki Ichihara, manager of Taisei Corp. However, that hasn't stopped residents from noticing that the building is "shrinking," losing approximately two floors of height every 10 days.
The process involves setting the "lid" of the building on hydraulic jacks, then carefully deconstructing guest rooms and other materials of the hotel, recycling them. As space is cleared, the hydraulic jacks lower the lid, thereby causing the shrinkage effect.
So, no, you're not losing your mind, residents, the hotel is getting smaller.