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Nakagin

ARCHITECTURE

Design by Kisho Kurokawa

Created by: Gregor Vidmar, Zan Sabeder

The Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa used to be one of the prime examples of Japanese Metabolism. Completed in just 30 days in 1972, the building was the first realized example of capsule architecture.

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Each capsule functioned as a small living space/office. Inspired by the past, the size of the capsule was derived from a traditional tea ceremony room, with the window being an interpretation of Genko-an’s Temple Enlightenment window. Capsules were plugged into the central core and designed to be replaceable. With its avant-garde aesthetics, it possessed a unique quality, offering the opportunity of adaptation over time - a direct allusion to the Ise Shrine, which is rebuilt every 20 years.

Throughout the period of almost 50 years, the building fell into a state of disrepair. Before his death, Kurokawa proposed taking advantage of the flexible design by "unplugging" the existing boxes and replacing them with new and improved ones. Opposing the idea of a living structure, the capsules were never updated.

 

Sadly one of our favourite buildings was demolished in 2022. At our studio, we decided to pay homage to this exceptional piece of architecture and preserve it in our own style.

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