Kisho Kurokawa, Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan, 1972
Kisho Kurokawa, Nakagin Capsule Tower, Tokyo, Japan, 1972 (view from google)
The Nakagin Capsule Tower (中銀カプセルタワー Nakagin Kapuseru Tawā?) is a mixed-use residential and office tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and located in Shimbashi, Tokyo, Japan. Completed in 1972, the building is a rare remaining example of Japanese Metabolizm, an architectural movement emblematic of Japan’s postwar cultural resurgence. The building was the world’s first example of capsule architecture built for permanent and practical use. The building still exists but has fallen into disrepair. As of October 2012, around thirty of the 140 capsules remained in use as apartments, while others were used for storage or office space, or simply abandoned and allowed to deteriorate. The building is actually composed of two interconnected concrete towers, respectively eleven and thirteen floors, which house 140 prefabricated modules (or “capsules”) which are each self-contained units. Each capsule measures 2.3 m (7.5 ft) × 3.8 m (12 ft) × 2.1 m (6.9 ft) and functions as a small living or office space. Capsules can be connected and combined to create larger spaces. Each capsule is connected to one of the two main shafts only by four high-tension bolts and is designed to be replaceable. No units have been replaced since the original construction.
Alexandra Niedermayr, Alexandre Maurel, Martin Charachon, Sonja Schneider (March 2017)