• The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo will be demolished

    • The physical and digital reconstruction rights will be sold as an NFT on the OpenSea platform

    • So far there has been little interest in NFTs

    The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo

    At the time of its construction, the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo was supposed to be ahead of its time. With it, the architect Kishō Kurokawa created a building that should be changeable and adaptable to new circumstances. For this purpose, it basically consists of only two inner columns, which contain the stairwell and the water and electricity connections, and capsules mounted around them. These capsules could be freely exchanged and added as free elements. With a size of almost ten square meters, they were mainly used as small apartments that provided everything necessary for life in a small space. A total of 140 capsules graced the exterior of the Nakagin Capsule Tower. Due to this modular and quite pragmatic structure, the tower looked futuristic. The architectural style is called metabolism. Despite the very plausible idea of ​​creating buildings that can change over time and adapt to new needs, metabolism never really caught on. The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo was one of the few major examples of the style. His days are finally numbered. As the news channel Welt reports, the majority of the owners decided in April 2007 to demolish it.


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    The futuristic building will be demolished

    The decision to demolish the Nakagin Capsule Tower was said to have been made primarily for practical reasons. The building, which once looked so modern, was probably in a disastrous state recently. According to Welt, Nicolai Ouroussoff, architecture critic at the New York Times, wrote the following after a site visit in 2009: “Some tenants had plastic bags attached to their door frames to stop leaks, and many of them were leaking gray water. A tenant once took me to the bridge that connected the two towers, where I saw pieces of concrete break off the corner of one of the capsules.” This is said to have been due to the fact that the idea of ​​metabolism has never been applied. Capsules were never exchanged or new elements added. As a result, the Nakagin Capsule Tower became more and more obsolete. Ironically, this completely defeated the building’s original purpose of being a mutable and adaptable object that changes over time. The architecture direction of metabolism has simply not prevailed. However, since the Nakagin Capsule Tower is one of the few famous structures of the style, some people tried to have the tower listed as a historical monument. However, the attempt was in vain. In April 2022, dismantling of the capsules and demolition of the building began. Nevertheless, it should be preserved and live on in a different way.

    Physical and digital reconstruction rights are sold as NFT

    Similar to when it was built, the Nakagin Capsule Tower is said to be ahead of its time when it is demolished. The dismantling should not be the end of the building. All those who have campaigned for the tower to be preserved can at least look forward to a digital survival for the time being, because the rights to the digital and physical reconstruction of the Nakagin Capsule Tower are being sold as an NFT. The architecture firm Kishō Kurokawa and Associates and the investment firm Laetoli offer both on the OpenSea platform. Should buyers acquire the physical rights, the tower could be rebuilt at a different location. According to Welt, the current owners are providing digital versions of the original plans and some suggested uses for individual capsules. For example, the modules could be used as accommodation in holiday resorts or deployed in disaster areas. Digital rights buyers will be given the opportunity to rebuild the Nakagin Capsule Tower or its capsules in virtual space. However, it is still unclear whether this will actually happen. So far, the bidders have not shown too much interest.

    Nicolas Flohr / Editor finanzen.net

    Image sources: iQoncept / Shutterstock.com, archy13 / Shutterstock.com