Tokyo Iconic Modern Micros to be Demolished

Nakagin Capsule Tower - Photo by Jergen SpechtOh man, Kisho Kurokawa’s timeless (in my opinion) 140 unit capsule apartment complex in the Ginza of  Tokyo is going to be knocked down and replaced with a new 14 story building. This is sad day in modern architecture if you ask me. The towers were very innovative back in 1972 and still are. The building has a core utility and access towers and the apartment capsules plug into them like cords on a power strip. Kurokawa came up with a clever renovation solution:

"For his part, Kurokawa has pleaded to let the Capsule Tower express one of its original design qualities: flexibility. He suggested “unplugging” each box and replacing it with an updated unit, letting the base towers —which he calls “timeless”—remain untouched. Japan’s four major architectural organizations, including the Japan Institute of Architects, support this scheme. But the building’s management remained unconvinced and raised concerns regarding the towers’ ability to withstand earthquakes, as well as its inefficient use of valuable land. The new building will increase floor area by 60 percent."

Now I regret even more that fact that I was not able to visit this historic building on my trip to Japan. However, if the owners of the capsules are looking into cashing in on the amazingly high land prices in Tokyo there is little to stop them. I hope that the modules can be removed and relocated to different places, maybe even to museums so the design can be enjoyed but the masses of the world.

[via inhabitat]
Icon of Modern Prefab to be Demolished

Posted: May 7th, 2007
at 9:14pm by John

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Categories: Japan


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