Photos by Noritaka Minami Document the Famed Nakagin Capsule Tower Prior to Demolition


#Noritaka Minami

September 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“B1004” (2011). All illustrations or photos © Noritaka Minami, shared with permission

An icon of Japanese Metabolism, the Nakagin Capsule Tower stood in the Ginza neighborhood of Tokyo from 1972 until finally it was demolished previously this year. Conceived by the famed designer Kisho Kurokawa, the constructing showcased two central concrete towers, with 140 particular person pods slotted into the primary structures. A circular window permitted mild into the small modules, which had been developed with the intention that they could be taken off and changed as required.

This flexibility was an essential ingredient of Metabolist architecture, which fused the idea of megastructures with natural expansion, this means many of the models of the period embraced prefabrication for its ability to “regenerate” each couple decades. However for the Nakagain Capsule Tower, even though, structural issues prevented the pods from getting easily swapped, and the developing fell promptly into a condition of disrepair.


“Facade” (2010)

Until eventually it was disassembled back in April, the complex served as a beacon of the pre-war movement that commenced in the 1960s and was one particular of the several remaining structures of its kind—Kurokawa’s equally futuristic Capsule Hosue K is however in use in Nagano woods. Now, some of the tower’s capsules are being shipped to museums and institutions or transformed into single lodging, and a person firm is also doing the job to digitally preserve the building.

Artist Noritaka Minami documented the elaborate prior to demolition, and his images of the facade and residential models are on view this week as element of 1972/Accumulations at MAS Context Looking through Room in Chicago. Framing the living quarters from the similar angle, the pictures look at the structural similarities and individual consequences of each and every house. The photographs, most of which Minami took between 2010 and 2021, capture a sure intimacy within just the austere uniformity and preserve what when was an architectural innovation.

1972/Accumulations operates from September 22 to December 8. See more of the collection on Minami’s web-site


“A503” (2017)

“Artificial Land” (2021)

“A703” (2017)

“B605” (2021)

“B807” (2021)

“B702” (2012)

“A905” (2018)

#Noritaka Minami


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