LOCATION: 8-16-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo Japan
ARCHITECT: Kisho Kurakawa
Site Visit(s): Sun Nov 2, Mon Nov 3 2014
Kisho Kurakawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower, repeatedly under threat of the wrecking ball, remains standing. And while yes technically the building’s capsules are constructed of steel––which might challenge the relevance of such a project––the building sits firmly at the center of the ongoing question of architectural obsolescence and so when the opportunity arose to spend the night at one of the capsules, and thus gain access to a building typically closed to visitors, I leapt at the chance. The building is in a very strange state indeed, with a pervasive atmosphere of abandonment (nearly 60% of the capsules are currently unoccupied).
With many capsules abandoned by their owners (only 30 of the 140 capsules are currently occupied), the building’s deterioration is reaching a rapid rate. As a safety precaution for pedestrians below safety netting now drapes the site.
Nagakin Capsule Tower – Kisho Kurakawa Architect & Associates Website
Nagakin Capsule Tower – ArchDaily Classics