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This image shows Hopkins Architects' biggest project to date: the 35-storey Shin-Marunouchi tower in central Tokyo. Bill Taylor , Hopkins' managing director , admitted the demands of the site coupled with tight financial constraints made the project particularly tough. He said: 'Building to the commercial demands of the budget was challenging, but the standard of craftsmanship in Japan was very high, which made it easier to realise a very well-constructed building out of a very restricted budget.'

The building sits opposite Tokyo Station on the main ceremonial axis to the Imperial Palace and, controversially , overlooks the Emperor 's residence. Due to its proximity to the palace, planning permission was only granted after sensitive negotiations between the client, Mitsubishi Estates, and the Imperial Household. Hopkins won the £198 million job in 2001, beating high-profile opposition including Renzo Piano.

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