kurokawa's capsule tower demolition kurokawa's capsule tower demolition
jul 12, 2009

kurokawa's capsule tower demolition

image by jim o’connell for the new york times

as the residents of of kisho kurokawa’s 1972 capsule tower continue to call for its destruction the new york times’ writer nicolai ouroussoff asks why certain landmarks – in japan and throughout the developed world – are preserved, and others are not.

image by jim o’connell for the new york times

‘for many of us who believe that the way we treat our cultural patrimony is a fair measure of how enlightened we are as a society, the building’s demolition would be a bitter loss. the capsule tower is not only gorgeous architecture; like all great buildings, it is the crystallization of a far-reaching cultural ideal. Its existence also stands as a powerful reminder of paths not taken, of the possibility of worlds shaped by different sets of values.’

read the new york times article ‘future vision banished to the past’

shortly before his death in 2007 kisho kurokawa discussed the possible demolition of his capsule tower with tokyo art beat in the video below:

you can also see more images of the building here.

to read more about the ‘nakagin capsule towers’ by kisho kurokawa   on designboom, click here.  

  • Holly c*w

    I bought a book on Kisho’s Architecture (I’ve forgotten what it was called) Metabolism in Architecture?… when I left college some thirty years ago. It was the cutting edge then and ironically has become more so as the years pass!

    From the explosion of Archigram, Kurokawa did it for a Japanese society it was entirely suited for. We passed through Po-Mo, High Tech, Neo-Classicim, Neo-Modernism, but the benefits and lessons of the capsule tower are more relevant today than ever.

    We strain to realise the same in our over-crowded, over-priced mega-cities. Hell, why demolish it…

    We should be building more of them!

    Enough said the film is remarkable – a giant of an architect fighting, not for maintaining his legacy, but for something he believes in….

    Metabolism in Architecture… the patient’s on life support, let’s get that pulse racing.

    The Big Black & White Zebra says:
  • It’s a shame. But it looks quite depressing in it’s current state…

    www.micro-architects.com says:
  • This is seriously depressing

    s/m says:
  • Funny that you find it depressing in its current state. I’ve been liking how well it’s aged.

    I’d love to see a contest for replacing the pods. What else could go there?

    [url=http://www.quietbabylon.com]Quiet Babylon[/url]

    Tim says:
  • Esta es la famosa
    [url=http://e-construir.com/news-construccion/arquitectura/n157.html] Torre Cápsula de Nakagin [/url], todo un icono de la arquitectura moderna. Seria una tristeza si la demuelen.

    avew says:
  • oh no!! how can they destroy it?… it was an icon…

    jesse says:
  • The sound proof between neighbours has got to be better than ordinary flats. There is a gap arround each capsule.
    Simbolicaly, the square is a shape for the domestic, so the window is not about that.

    About preserving, eather it is a case of needing it (I buy it, it is mine) or a case of desiring it (I preserve it, it is ours). So is the tower an object of desire?

    Rui says:
  • 30 years a go, Nakagin was a vision to the future. Now we are in this future….but the futurologist dont imagine the american edge found. Maximum gain, use of the maximum space. All to make money. Art is not money. We need fight to preserve Nakagin. My student’s dream.

    cesaremonti.com says:
  • It is sad for such a great building to be at risk. Why can’t (won’t) the local government put it under protection/presevation?

    If the manage to replace the modules, they should leave one as a memorial to the first 35 years. After eight updates, there would be 200 plus years of history to visit.

    rbuss says:
  • It looks so seriously futuristic… still

    Ari says:
  • hmmm…..sad indeed. The Kurokawa capsule tower has been my favorite building of all time. Not only for its architectural beauty but also because of its ingenuity in concept. The saddest part is the fight is against an American company….c’mon, Japan needs to preserve that.

    panamakira says:
  • i think that what he believes in is just what we need more than ever, as it has been said here before.And that’s is a shame to destroy such great concept, it should be improved with the actual knownledge.By the way, i loved the idea of a contest.Design boom could help wiht that,

    bibio says:
  • I’m going to agree that the building should be saved, but it’s worth noting that the people who have to live there each day want it to go away. I think that’s something to remember in terms of design, no?

    My solution? Well, there’s got to be 140 people in Tokyo who are big enough architecture fans to replace the 140 residents currently there. Problem solved.

    World-class Cynic says:

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