Nakagin Capsule on display at Roppongi Hills

As part of Mori Art Museum’s latest exhibition called “Metabolism, The City of the Future”, a Nakagin Capsule is currently on display outside Mori Crosspoint along Roppongi Dori avenue. The capsule is identical to the ones used in the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Ginza. Read more about the apartment building here. There is also a display capsule at the bottom of the Nakagin Capsule Tower.

The metabolist architecture movement began in Japan in the 1960s. With the concept of renewal, it was envisioned that both buildings and the environment could grow and change over time. The Nakagin Capsule Tower is a perfect example of metabolism as each capsule was designed to be removable and interchangeable. Although the building was completed in 1972, none of the capsules have actually been replaced. The 40 year old building with 140 capsules is still being used today as both small studio apartments for office workers and as mini offices.

Each capsule is only 10 sqm (107 sqft) and includes a kitchenette and unit-bathroom. They can be purchased for as little as 2.5 million Yen (32,000 USD), or rented from 58,000 Yen/month (750 USD). There are discussions about rebuilding as many of the capsules contain old air-conditioning units with asbestos and the building is starting to age, although nothing has been decided yet.

About the Exhibit:

Metabolism, The City of the Future: Dreams and visions of reconstruction in postwar and present-day Japan
When: September 17, 2011 – January 15, 2012
Where: Mori Art Museum, Mori Building 53rd Floor
Admission: 1500 Yen (Adult), 1000 Yen (Student), 500 Yen (Child)

About the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building:

– Built: 1972
– Architect: Kisho Kurokawa
– Developer: Nakagin Mansion
– Construction Company: Taisei Corporation
– Construction 11 and 13 stories (2 towers)
– Height: 53.5m
– No. of units, or capsules: 140
– Land size: 429.51sqm
– Land ownership: 60 year leasehold starting from April, 1972

– Capsule size: 10sqm
– Capsule weight: 3,800 kg
– Width: 2550mm
– Length: 4171mm
– Height: 2671mm

– Address: 8-16-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

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