Nakagin Capsule Tower Set for Demolition in Mid-April
In a development that has stirred both anticipation and uncertainty, the Nakagin Capsule Tower, an architectural marvel conceived by Kisho Kurokawa, is set to be dismantled by mid-April. The tower's fate has been subject to months of preservation efforts, but Tatsuyuki Maeda, one of the current owners, has disclosed plans to salvage select capsules for repurposing as hotels and museums in various locations worldwide.
The vision to dismantle the landmark structure and repurpose its capsules as lodging units or museum exhibitions was initially presented by Kisho Kurokawa Architects and Urban Design Office Chiyoda-ku back in 2013. Rather than opting for complete demolition and starting from scratch, the regeneration plan has harnessed the power of crowdsourcing campaigns, active on the Motion Gallery website since July 2nd, to raise funds for the restoration of capsules designated for museum purposes.
Since 2018, the tower has operated as a "Monthly Capsules" facility, offering visitors the opportunity to experience a one-month stay as a trial. This unique accommodation concept has garnered the admiration of over 200 individuals during the past two and a half years, inspiring the team to explore the creation of "accommodation capsules" for future use across the country.
Comprising 140 capsules, the Metabolist complex, inaugurated in 1972, boasts two adjacent towers standing 11 and 13 stories tall. Each of these 10-square-meter chambers is adorned with expansive windows and arranged around a central pillar. Reflecting the architect's visionary concept of a "dynamic, ever-changing architecture," the tower's central core was intended to be exchanged with new modules every 25 years. However, due to a lack of maintenance, the structural integrity of the capsules has gradually deteriorated over time.