Apartment hunters, meet the Nakagin Capsule highrise apartment building in Tokyo.
The 140-unit apartment building, built in 1972, has fallen into disrepair and faces demolition. It’s a tragic building: its innovative design has led to its neglect.
Kisho Kurokawa designed the building to be ever-updatable: each apartment is bolted to a central beam so entire units could easily be removed, updated, and replaced over the building’s lifetime. They could also be combined into larger units. However, none of the units have been updated since the tower was built, and now residents are fleeing the squalid, cramped halls.
The apartments were designed for Tokyo salarymen, traveling into the city each week for work. Their appliances, beds, and bathrooms were specially built.
And they look exactly like Bruce Willis’ apartment in The Fifth Element.
Many residents expand their apartment storage by keeping personal items in the hallways.
I hope it can be saved. The concept of the building is intriguing, and I’d love to see it revisited in a contemporary way.