Nakagin "Capsule Tower"

The day I arrived in Japan, I met Oliver, an architect who is doing an intern in a studio here in Tōkyō. He is a very nice person, and sometimes he tells me a little bit about the most interesting aspects of japanese architecture. For instance, the Capsule Tower.

Located in Shimbashi, next to the Ginza district, this weird building follows the rules of the so-called metabolist movement. It is a kind of avantguarde style which proposes huge structures ispired by biological growth.

Capsules are independent modules designed to be living spaces, but they can be connected to create larger rooms. Moreover, they can be replaced to support more modern equipments. Anyway, 1972’s standard furnitures still look extremely futuristic.

Unfortunately, the image above comes from wikipedia: the entrance to Capsule Tower is strictly forbidden. The building is basically abandoned and in ruin, so that someone has proposed the demolition of this extremely interesting, and unique, piece of architecture. Fortunately, the proposals were rejected and someone still lives in capsules.

Sky House by Kiyonori Kikutake, 1958. The significance of this design is completely underplayed by its humble appearance from the street. The residence floats above a steep hillside on a cast-in-place concrete superstructure with a cantilevered waffle slab floor. “Living pods” are hung bellow the slab and can be changes out. The main living space is Japanese in every sense, with a wrap around engawa sheltered by wooden storm shutters. The house is a true experiment and expression of the Japanese Metabolist movement. #metabolism #metabolist #findingjapanesemodern #japanesemodern #Japan #Tokyo #modern #architecture #kiyonorikikutake

Time capsule

The Nakagin Capsule Tower by architect Kisho Kurokawa in Tokyo.


Anndra Neen Caged Tube Choker.


A building designed for disposal now faces its overdue demise, to the outrage of some occupants. In 1972, architect Kisho Kurokawa imagined a Tokyo apartment block as a kit of parts of sorts: each of the 140 units could be removed and replaced at will. Now, the Nakagin Capsule Tower stands as…

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I made this in the spring and I’m finally putting it online for all to enjoy.

I’d love to hear anyone’s thoughts.

That’s the #halftones in and the first ‘finished’ version done. They’ll be a few changes to this guy but they’ll be minor tweaks from here on in. #capsulebuilding #Tokyo #architecture #brutalism #metabolist #illustration #illustrator #art #artist #londonartist #taxi #risingsun #gerrybuxton #illustratedplaces #instaart