1972 – Nagakin Capsule Tower – Kisho Kurokawa

The module of Nagakin Capsule Tower was created with the intention of housing traveling businessmen that worked in central Tokyo during the week. It is a prototype for architecture of sustainability and recycleability, as each module can be plugged in to the central core and replaced or exchanged when necessary. Built close to Shimbashi Station, a total of 140 capsules are stacked and rotated at varying angles around a central core, standing 14-stories high. The technology developed by architect Kisho Kurokawa allowed each unit to be installed to the concrete core with only 4 high-tension bolts, which keeps the units replaceable. Each capsule measures 4 x 2.5 meters, permitting enough room for one person to live comfortably. The interior space of each module can be manipulated by connecting the capsule to other capsules.

Residents of the tiny pods are now plotting its demolition; although the capsules were built to be replacable, the building has not been maintained in over 35 years which has led to drainage and damaged water pipes. Architects from around the world are trying to work together to preserve the towers, considering all ideas and options.


Name: Nagakin Capsule Towers│Type: Residential│Architect: Kisho Kurokawa │Completed: 1972

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