Noritaka Minami’s pictures doc the well-known Nakagin Capsule Tower earlier than its demolition


Design historical past pictures

#structure #Japan #Noritaka Minami

September 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

“B1004” (2011). All photos © Noritaka Minami, shared with permission

An icon of Japanese metabolism, the Nakagin Capsule Tower stood in Tokyo’s Ginza neighborhood from 1972 till it was demolished earlier this yr. Conceived by famend designer Kisho Kurokawa, the constructing consisted of two central concrete towers, with 140 particular person pods in the principle construction. A round window allowed gentle into small modules, which had been constructed with the intention that they could possibly be eliminated and changed as wanted.

This flexibility was an important a part of Metabolist structure, which mixed the idea of megastructures with natural development, which means that many designs of the time adopted prefabrication for the flexibility to “regenerate” each few a long time. Sadly for the Nakagen capsule tower, nevertheless, structural points prevented the pods from being simply swapped, and the constructing rapidly fell into disrepair.

“The Masks” (2010)

Till it was decommissioned again in April, the advanced served as a beacon of the pre-war motion that started within the Nineteen Sixties and was one of many few remaining constructions of its variety—Kurokawa’s equally futuristic capsule Hoshu Ke Aji. Additionally in use within the forests of Nagano. . As we speak, a few of the tower’s capsules are being despatched to museums and establishments or transformed into single residences, and an organization can also be working to digitally protect the constructing.

Artist Noritaka Minami documented the advanced earlier than demolition, and his pictures of the facade and housing models are on view as a part of this week’s exhibition. 1972/Collections within the MAS Reference Studying Room in Chicago. Framing the dwelling quarters from the identical angle, the pictures examine the structural similarities and private influences of every area. The images, most of which Minami took between 2010 and 2021, seize and protect a sure intimacy inside a sure integrity that was as soon as an architectural innovation.

1972/Collections Runs from September 22 to December 8. See extra of the collection on Minami’s website

“A503” (2017)

“Synthetic Land” (2021)

“A703” (2017)

“B605” (2021)

“B807” (2021)

“B702” (2012)

“A905” (2018)

#structure #Japan #Noritaka Minami

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