itwonlast

Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower being assembled in 1972.
The 14-story high building has 140 capsules stacked at angles around a central core. In accord with the principles of exchangeability, expansibility and flexibility put forward by the Metabolist movement, architect Kisho Kurokawa developed the technology to install the preassembled capsule units into the concrete core with only 4 high-tension bolts, making them easily detachable and replaceable when needed. Kurokawa’s idea was that every 25 years or so, the units could be replaced, giving the building a 200 year life span.
In reality however, none of the capsules were ever replaced and the lack of maintenance over the last three decades has taken its toll on the building. Until his death in 2007, Kurokawa fought to keep the structure and update the capsules as he originally planned. Today the tower remains under constant threat of demolition.

Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower being assembled in 1972.

The 14-story high building has 140 capsules stacked at angles around a central core. In accord with the principles of exchangeability, expansibility and flexibility put forward by the Metabolist movement, architect Kisho Kurokawa developed the technology to install the preassembled capsule units into the concrete core with only 4 high-tension bolts, making them easily detachable and replaceable when needed. Kurokawa’s idea was that every 25 years or so, the units could be replaced, giving the building a 200 year life span.

In reality however, none of the capsules were ever replaced and the lack of maintenance over the last three decades has taken its toll on the building. Until his death in 2007, Kurokawa fought to keep the structure and update the capsules as he originally planned. Today the tower remains under constant threat of demolition.

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