The rights to reconstruct Kisho Kurokawa's iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower are currently sold on one of the largest NFT sites. While the tower’s demolition has begun earlier this year, the auction sells the right to rebuild the structure, in both the metaverse and in real space. The idea of recreating the Metabolic building in a virtual space seems natural. It could allow a larger community to explore an iconic piece of architecture and encourage them to experiment with it, an initiative in line with Metabolist ideals. On the other hand, the idea of reconstructing a demolished historical building in the physical world raises a different set of conflicting emotions. Architectural replicas are not the norm, but their existence raises questions regarding the identity and authenticity of works of architecture.
Nakagin Capsule Tower: The Latest Architecture and News
Japanese digital consultancy Gluon plans to preserve the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Tokyo, one of the most representative examples of Japanese Metabolism by Kisho Kurokawa. The “3D Digital Archive Project” is using a combination of measurement techniques to record the iconic building in three dimensions and recreate it in the metaverse. The tower is currently being demolished due to the structure's precarious state and incompatibility with current seismic standards, as well as the general state of decay and lack of maintenance.
‘’In the background there is still invisible Japanese tradition’’, expresses Kisho Kurokawa, in an excerpt from the film ‘Kochuu’. He puts an emphasis on Japanese tradition, an architectural tradition that rejects symmetry despite the utilization of high-tech. He contemplates the Nakagin capsule tower (1972) a mixed-use residential and office tower located in Tokyo, Japan. The first of capsule architecture built for practical and permanent use.
Jesper Wachtmeister’s ‘Kochuu’ is based upon the influence and origins of Modernist Japanese architecture. Through visions of the future, tradition and nature, it amplifies elements of Japanese tradition and its impact on Nordic design. The narrative tells us of how contemporary Japanese architects strive to unite the ways of modern man with old philosophies to create anew.
Following months of uncertainties and preservation attempts, Kisho Kurokawa's iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower will be demolished on April 12th of this year. Tatsuyuki Maeda, one of the current owners of the tower, explained that a team will try to preserve some of the capsules, and regenerate them as accommodation units and museum installations across the world.
After ongoing uncertainties about the future state of the The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building, Kisho Kurokawa Architects and Urban Design Office Chiyoda-ku, have decided to dismantle the iconic architecture and regenerate its capsules as accommodation units and museum installations across the world. The regeneration plan follows the initial concept of "Metabolism", re-configurating the elements instead of complete demolition.
Seizing on the current trend for 'micro-apartments' in cities such as New York, Fast Company has an interesting profile (including some great photos) of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, the 1972 Japanese building, one of the first (and still one of the most extreme) examples of small-plan living. The article explores both the successful and unsuccessful elements of the design, such as the difficult maintenance and non-openable windows, as well as the ongoing battle for preservation since the residents voted to replace the tower with a conventional building. You can read the full article here.