Ginza’s Nakagin Capsule Tower is a rare example of Metabolism, a post-war Japanese movement that applied organic biological growth to architectural mega structures. The building is actually comprised of two interconnected concrete towers (with 11 and 13 floors) that house 140 modules (or ‘capsules’), 20 of which are occupied. Each capsule is a self-contained, prefabricated unit that can be used for small living or as an office.
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The main building’s concept includes modular cubes affixed to the shaft by only four high-tension bolts, which are easily replaced, with built in flexibility to accommodate growth. But until now no units have been replaced.
Inside, the flats are hyper-functional and monochrome (interior color choices include white, black or orange), have a pop-up desk and lots of surprising details to play around with. The bathroom unit has an integrated toilet, shower and sink, and the “kitchen” includes a small refrigerator and pop-up sink. This original 1970s bachelor pad also boasts a vintage stereo, phone, and TV, along with a large round aperture that frames Tokyo street views.
Would you stay in one of these?
+ Nakagin Capsule Tower at Airbnb
Lead photo by Jordy Meow; others by Michael Francis McCarthy and Airbnb