When we first came to Japan, we had a long list of places to visit and Nakagin Capsule Tower was on that list. Since living here, we have procrastinated a one night Airbnb stay only to realize that it's a little too late.
Designed in 1972 by Kisho Kurokawa as a interchangeable and modular building, each pod is adhered to a central support beam by 4 screws. The idea is that each capsule can be undone and swapped if maintenance was needed.
Demolition has been in talks since 2007 and we are glad to know that instead of demolishing the building, they have decided to dissect each pod/capsule and donate it across the globe to museums and as accommodation facilities to continue on serving its purpose.
The building has fallen under disrepair with no available hot water and a real lack of ventilation. With high cost to maintain basic utilities, the building's occupancy rate remains low at 17% as residential and 20% as offices out of the 140 units.
It's space age design is incredibly nostalgic but it's square footage may be irrelevant in today's context.
How much space do we actually need to function on a day to day basis? It could be that the only thing humans need is a place that provide respite and safety, no matter its size.