Nakagin Capsule Tower Update 24 Nov, 2021

Demolition of the annex building, right behind the Nakagin Capsule Tower, started in October 2021. Some heavy machines were lifted from the narrow side street, scaffolding was set up. Finally, it started. It was shocking to see the Nakagin signboard being removed even though the demolition is not of the tower itself.   

The work will be finished in March, 2022.
And for the main tower, it is scheduled to start next summer.

About the new project

(donation to galleries and museums, accommodation capsules)

we are still working with the new owner of the building and Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates, figuring out the number of units to be reproduced.

Although all 139 units can be removed, it is still uncertain how many of them can be regenerated and reproduced.

Removal work will take some time, for it is necessary to dispose of asbestos beforehand. Upon removing the capsule from the core, the wall bolted on it will be damaged. That means capsules cannot remain in their original condition. And the ones in bad condition need to be refurbished completely.

Since the newspaper article (9 Nov. 2021) on the Guardian, we have received more inquiries from art galleries and museums from all over the world. Currently we have about 30 offers, and among them are notable museums.

There are more inquiries from abroad than from Japan. That seems to reflect the situation of the Capsule Tower and the metabolism architecture. There are few inquiries from Asia, and the number of offers from Germany is relatively high among other western nations. 

At the present moment, the destination of each capsule is not yet decided. As each unit has a special meaning or priority to each owner, it does not look easy to make a final decision. There may be a chance to ship some capsules abroad next autumn if things go well. 

As for our crowdfunding this summer, we received support from 583 donators and 770% of the monetary goal. We keep working on the capsule donation project and accommodation project, and planning to publish books.

Sample of commemorative board to be attached on a capsule wall. For those who contributed 30000yen, your names will be printed on the board.

Survey and measurement of the communal space

About 20 people from Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates, the new owner and partner companies, the preservation project conducted the actual survey of the tower. 

Under the supervision of the Kisho Kurokawa office, a thorough inspection was conducted on all the communal space, the shop on the ground floor, and the office space on the second floor, while referring to the original floor plan.

Starting from the exterior, they inspected several units owned by the new company and exchanged their views and information regarding the removal procedure of capsules. Some professionals on asbestos participated in the meeting and discussed the disposing procedure as well.

The owners’ association will decide where to donate the large signboard and furniture of the tower.

About the next publication

The book “The Record of the Nakagin Capsule Tower (draft title)” is currently in production. 3D data of several capsules have been collected in cooperation with Professor Okazaki Rumi, Professor Shide Kazuya and their laboratories at Shibaura Institute of Technology. Using Laika’s laser scanner, 3D camera, a single-lens reflex camera, high quality has been secured.

Nov,  NHK broadcasted an 8K documentary program about the Nakagin Capsule Tower. Although there are not many households with 8K TV at this moment, it must be their manifestation to record and pass down a memory of vanishing cultural property to future generations. 
All the parties concerned gathered to assist the shooting.

Recent articles on foreign medias


ARYS, a fashion brand based in Berlin.
Photoshoot for Autumn & Winter Collection 2021 at the Nakagin Capsule Tower.


Nakagin Capsule Tower related tour

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