It is hard to imagine Tokyo’s Shinbashi without Kisho Kurokawa’s iconic Nakagin 1972 Capsule Tower.
The multi-unit prefab capsule tower is an expression of Metabolism, a Japanese post-war architectural movement that fuses tiny houses together with the concept of organic growth.
Since 2007 the building has been under threat of demolition. Without intervention, this precious piece of architecture is destined to go the way of its predecessors—abandoned and forgotten.
Now young architects Ani Safaryan and Klaudio Muca are proposing to extend the tower in a design entry submitted for City Above the City, a competition that invites entries from all over the world to repurpose old buildings to address urban population issues.
Their solution calls for wood, an organic, ecologically sustainable material, for the skyward extensions, essentially succeeding Kurokawa’s legacy.
Metabolism 2.0 infuses modern technology into a classic idea. As the demand for housing grows in Tokyo, their idea could not only come to fruition, it could even save Tokyo’s centrepiece architecture from extinction.