Kurokawa Nakagin Capsule Hotel

nakagin capsule

Nakagin Capsule Tower (AKA The BC25 Capsule) designed by Kisho Kurokawa

The 60s and 70s were an exciting period for Japanese architecture. In particular, the Metabolist Movement which was founded by a group of futuristic visionaries, including late architect Kisho Kurokawa, puts forth ideas of “large scale, flexible and extensible structures that facilitate an organic growth process”. Perhaps the most exemplary metabolist building is the Nakagin Capsule Tower built to accommodate bachelor salarymen in downtown Tokyo.

kurokawa nakagin capsule

Completed in 1972, Kisho Kurokawa designed the 14-story tower which consists of 140 pre-assembled individual capsules hoisted by a crane and bolted to the concrete core shaft. Functioning as apartments and business offices, each capsule unit comes complete with appliances and furniture for a single dweller, and by connecting additional units, can accommodate a single family. The Nakagin tower is designed to be adaptable and sustainable, with the capsules’ ability to be removed and replaced for upgrades, and thus minimizing construction waste in the process.

kurokawa capsule

japanese capsule hotel

The Nakagin Capsule Tower has been short-listed for the World Heritage by the International Committee of Docomomo International since 1996. However it is currently at the mercy of the wrecking ball, and efforts are still being made to preserve this masterpiece.

images 1. via my future me 2. via found 3. via Daily Contributor 4. via URBZOO

More info over at Apartment Therapy.

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Also worth checking: The architecture of La Vele di Scampia + Frederic Chaubin – Photographs of Space Age Soviet Architecture.

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I am so, so happy to hear that they have not yet finalized plans to demolish it. I love the tower and remembering that I almost wept when I wrote about Kisho Kurokawa’s death and the fate that befell the tower.
(I was an editor of an architecture+design magazine then, so I was understandably upset about the whole thing!)

Wow, I want to go there and see it. I love the round windows.

Pikaland >> Have you seen it person?

I need to visit the structure before they tear it down (hopefully they won’t).

Simply love this! Love the 70′s visions of what the future would look like, so surreal.

love how futuristic the past is.

This is just absolutely amazing, like Diana said; the past was just so amazingly futuristic. I sometimes wonder if my kids kids are going to think that the early millennium years were just the funkiest most future driven time ever….. but then I think not.

Something like this is heritage and should be preserved for as long as is possible, to lose something like this borderlines on being a travesty.

This is just absolutely amazing, like Diana said; the past was just so amazingly futuristic. I sometimes wonder if my kids kids are going to think that the early millennium years were just the funkiest most future driven time ever….. but then I think not.

Something like this is heritage and should be preserved for as long as is possible, to lose something like this borderlines on being a travesty. .

Isn’t it funny how something like this, once the object of ridicule could have matured in our eyes into something really beautiful and exciting.

It never ceases to amaze me that people, especially planners, can’t see past the contemporary view and give designs that are ahead of their time, the time they need to show how important they are!

Dave, I haven’t seen it in person unfortunately. I thought that they had already torn it down — I hope to be able to see it the next time I’m in Japan. Let me know if you ever do see it!

that’s timeless design

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