Nakagin Capsule Tower 

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Not only the first capsule architecture design but also Tokyo’s icon of futurism. Designed and finished in 1972 by Kisho Kurokawa, one of the founders of the Metabolism architectural movement. It was intended to provide economical and modern housing for traveling salarymen in Tokyo.

The modular building has two separate towers (11 and 13 floors high). There are 140 units at Nakagin for residents which are used as homes, offices and art studios. Each unit has a floor space of just 10 square meters (107 square feet). Every module was separately constructed (wired, plumbed and furnished) at the factory in Shiga Prefecture, transported by truck and then attached to one of the two main shafts of the building with 4 height-tension bolts. Each shaft has an elevator core with a spiral staircase. Cubes were supposed to be removable and replaceable (slotted in and out)  and updated on demand (or as planned every 25 years) however none of them ever has been replaced or removed.

This unique building looks like stack of washing machines or shipping containers 13 floors high. Each cube has only one circular window, built-in bed and bathroom.

It is a striking tower which still after over 40 years after designing looks futuristic.. It is slowly decaying as it was not supposed to last that long. It appeared in 2013 in ‘The Wolverine’ as a love hotel and most recently in the ‘Heroes Reborn’ TV series.

Have you spotted it?

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I only just found that that the building has a listing on AirBnB for 75$ per night (+25$ cleaning fee). How cool would be to stay for a night in Nakagin Capsule Tower? Especially as for years there have been rumors (hopefully not true) that the building will be demolished. I tried to booked straight away (obviously!) but unfortunately got a message from the host saying that the building management has decided to prohibit using the room for AirBnB guests as of Sep 1st 2015. They are negotiating with them at the moment. I will be waiting for updates and if there is a chance, I am booking a stay immediately. Fingers crossed.

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