Tokyo Was Shrunk Into a Handmade Mini-Scale Model

A handmade 1:1000 scale model of the city is roughly the size of a swimming pool.
Fabienne Lang
Tokyo's topographyMori Building Urban Lab

One of the world's largest capital cities has been shrunk to roughly the size of a swimming pool. A minituarized handmade model of Tokyo has been made to a 1:1000 scale, putting every nook and cranny of the Asian city on display.

Leading urban lanscaper the Mori Building Co., Ltd., established its Mori Building Urban Lab in 2019 as a research facility in Roppongi, Tokyo, to see how best to consider future cities, including Tokyo's changing landscape. Creating a scale mini model of the capital offers not only breathtaking but also multifaceted perspectives of the city. 

Tokyo Was Shrunk Into a Handmade Mini-Scale Model
Projection mapping on top of the 3D model offers greater detail. Source: Mori Building Urban Lab

The 3D model is paired with a 360-degree screen for projection mapping on its surrounding walls to give the entire project as detailed an experience as possible. Adding projection mapping to 3D models helps to add extra information, such as how railways work in coordination with a city's landscape, and where particular concentrations of businesses and populations are located, explains TechXplore.

By being able to view such a big city as Tokyo in its entirety helps urban developers get a well-rounded idea of how best to improve certain structures and places in a city, how it should evolve, and which key challenges or vulnerabilities to face first. 

Tokyo Was Shrunk Into a Handmade Mini-Scale Model
Projection mapping helps to see where Tokyo's rail network is, and how it could potentially be improved. Source: Mori Building Urban Lab

The mini version of Tokyo will be updated when it needs to be. As a city that lies in an area that experiences natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, which can, in turn, lead to flooding, it's crucial for city developers to note which areas are more prone to issues after they've been hit. This way, they can rebuild in a more structured and prepared manner. 

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It's a fascinating, stunning, and useful project that will undoubtedly assist urban developers to keep a keen eye on how Tokyo, and other international cities, grow. A number of other mini-scale models of major cities of the world exist, from New York to Moscow, all of which have their own stories to tell.

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