(New Scientist) In the heart of Tokyo an iconic skyscraper, the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka, is being demolished. But there are no explosives or wrecking balls in sight. Instead, all that can be seen is the roof slowly sinking as the aluminium-clad building shrinks beneath it.

The demolition is being carried out by the Taisei Corporation, which has developed what it claims is a cleaner and more environmentally friendly way to tear down high-rises. Called the Taisei Ecological Reproduction System, it works from the top down, breaking a building apart floor by floor. The once 140-metre tall hotel is now missing its top 30? metres. By May it will have vanished.

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