Preservation of Pod A606 of the Nakagin Capsule Tower After Demolished

Madani Matadian | Wednesday, 20 April 2022

One of the most iconic buildings in Kisho Kurokawa—the Nakagin Capsule Tower will be demolished this April. The tower's demolition was carried out based on a change of owner and the age of the building that was getting older resulted in some structures decaying. Japan, which is known as a country prone to earthquakes, is also one of the considerations in the background of the demolition of this building because it does not match the current seismic standards.

the Nakagin Capsule Tower will be demolished this April

Inaugurated in 1972, this Nakagin Tower structure is the first capsule architecture project designed with an adaptable, dynamic and ever-changing architectural vision in mind, where modules can be attached to a central core, replaced, or swapped. The capsules that make up the main structure of Nakagin Tower are designed to be rotated and replaced every 25 years. However, lack of funds resulted in rotation and replacement of capsules that never took place ultimately led to a deterioration of the structure; such as damaged drainage and water pipes.


Nakagin Tower structure is the first capsule architecture project in Japan

Nakagin Tower consists of 140 capsules designed to accommodate traveling business people working in downtown Tokyo. Each capsule has a large circular window, so the exterior looks like a washing machine. With a width of 10 square meters, this capsule can only accommodate one person with the features and equipment made by the factory pre-assembled. However, since 2018 Nakagin Tower has been operating as a “monthly capsule” facility that's rented out to people who want to experience staying in the tower for a month. This is what inspired the team to develop “accommodation capsules” nationally.


Nakagin Tower consists of 140 capsules designed to accommodate traveling business people working in downtown Tokyo

One of the tower's current owners, Tatsuyuki Maeda, explained that a team is trying to preserve some of the capsules and regenerate them as accommodation units and museum installations around the world. Maeda's statements are based on an announcement by the Kisho Kurokawa Chiyoda-ku Office of Architects and Urban Design that it aims to dismantle the iconic architecture and reuse its capsules as accommodation units and museum installations.

this capsule can only accommodate one person with the features and equipment made by the factory pre-assembled

this capsule can only accommodate one person with the features and equipment made by the factory pre-assembled

The demolition has been carried out and has encouraged residents to start crowdfunding to preserve, donate, or move the capsules. One of the teams that have been confirmed to preserve several capsules, explains its movement of the "Nakagin Capsule Tower A606 Project", which is to rotate and modify the capsule numbered A606 to extend its life into an installation by adopting the concept of "architecture in motion".


ome of the capsules and regenerate them as accommodation units and museum installations around the world

A representative for the team, Akiko Ishimaru stated that the demolition of the interior began on April 12.

“The demolition work has started, and the occupants have vacated the unit. Inside the tower, it already looks like a demolition site. This demolition work begins by removing the remaining interior beside the asbestos. After that, the capsule will be dismantled and the concrete tower that supports it will also be dismantled. It is estimated that this demolition will take until the end of 2022," he said.


 

Video courtesy: BBC Travel Show

The photography is courtesy of the Nakagin Capsule Tower A606 Project unless stated.

 

 

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