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Remember: form and function!

Tokyo’s City Hall is gorgeous, a striking design that photographers love. You can see it in the opening credits of Hikaru no Go…but if you don’t have access to that glorious anime (and why not?!), you can see it here.

Nice, eh?

Unfortunately, that cool design comes with a price, as government officials are discovering.

Only 15 years after it was built to great fanfare for its novel design, this soaring Tokyo landmark is plagued with rain leaks, faulty lighting and other aging problems.

Rainwater seeps through cracks, staining the walls and ceilings. City officials are clearly embarrassed.

But repairing the structure–even simply cleaning the outer walls–is hampered by the unusual geometric patterns of its modernist design.

“This is a result of the metropolitan government giving priority to design, without considering the operating costs,” said a Tokyo official in charge of maintenance.

Full-scale repairs would cost about 100 billion yen, according to one estimate. That is almost two-thirds of the 157 billion yen it cost to build the structure in the first place.

Oops.