Nakagin Capsule Tower

This historical building is an example of metabolism a movement in Japanese architecture that drew inspiration from how living organisms arrange themselves.  Metabolists viewed society as an organism and the Nakagin Tower is one of the few remaining examples of their work. Each capsule is like a cell, a self-contained living space designed for bachelor salarymen. One wall is all appliances such as cabinets, TV and microwave and the rest of the space is used for a bed and airplane-sized toilet. Each capsule was assembled off-site and then attached to a concrete pillar so each one can be removed without affecting the others.

Recently there has been talk of demolishing the tower but Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic for The New York Times, spoke out against the idea, “like all great buildings, it is the crystallization of a far-reaching cultural ideal. Its existence also stands as a powerful reminder of paths not taken, of the possibility of worlds shaped by different sets of values.” Today, it remains standing.

 

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