Nakagin Capsule Tower demolition


Many iconic Tokyo landmarks have shuttered one after another in recent years. Now, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is next to face its inevitable fate of demolition come April 2022. 


Nakagin Capsule Tower to be demolished in April 2022


Nakagin Capsule Tower demolition - exterior of tower
Image credit:  Susann Schuster 

After 50 years since it was first unveiled in the affluent neighbourhood of Ginza, Nakagin Capsule Tower will be demolished on 12th April 2022. 

The decision to dismantle the unique building is not a hasty move. According to Yahoo News, due to ageing and the dilapidated condition of its interior, repeated calls for demolition and replacement have been made since the 2000s, despite the protests of those who want to preserve the building. 

It was only in March 2021 that the premise was sold to a real estate company and finally slated for redevelopment plans. 


Brainchild of Kisho Kurokawa


Nakagin Capsule Tower demolition - exterior of tower
Image credit: Daryan Shamkhali

First making its architectural debut in 1972, the Nakagin Capsule Tower made waves for its unusual appearance and concept. The building comprises 140 capsules, with each capsule designed to be removable and replaceable when necessary. 

Often hailed as the representative landmark of the Metabolism movement, Nakagin Capsule Tower is the brainchild of Kisho Kurokawa, a revered architect in Japan.   


Capsules donated to museums


Nakagin Capsule Tower demolition - individual capsule
Image credit: Roman Davydko 

Despite the impending loss of an iconic landmark, there’s still a silver lining. Part of the tower will be preserved and donated to museums, thanks to the efforts of the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building Preservation and Regeneration Project.

The interest group, alongside representatives from Kisho Kurosawa Architect, are currently in talks with the real estate company to discuss the possibility of preserving and donating some of the capsules. Several domestic and international museums have reached out, so it shouldn’t be long before we can see the remnants of the landmark on display. 


Nakagin Capsule Tower to be demolished soon


Though it’s saddening that renowned landmarks are giving way to the ravages of time, we’re glad that parts of the tower will be preserved to go down in history. Here’s hoping more innovative and revolutionary buildings take the place of the Nakagin Capsule Tower.   

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Cover image adapted from: Daryan Shamkhali

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