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Architectural history in tiny Tokyo capsules

By Katie Forster

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© 2014 AFP

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Too freakin' KOOL! I can see myself goin' WILD with some local honeys & some happy smoke in one of those...oh YEAH:

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Pretty cool and indeed worth saving.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I work across the street from Nakagin building. Some units are obviously abandoned and or used as storage. Interior filled with card boxes and other stuff of unknown nature sticks out from windows like a sore thumb. The building dilapidates as owners indifference escalates due to uncertainty. I would rebuild, those units are too small for just about any use.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Abe moved out of his capsule when the hot water was shut off in 2010 but now rents it out to guests for 9,000 yen a night through DIY hotel site Airbnb.

You can get an electric in-line water heater to correct this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cool ... like living in a spaceship.

Asbestos insulation degrading is worrying, though.

Alibaba has lots of capsule motel units listed FOB from manufacturers. Maybe some vendor could be persuaded to reproduce the Nakagin units in new condition and minus asbestos.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Surprising that still some people live in that building. From the outside it has a very dystopian, retro-futuristic atmosphere so I'd say it's worth saving. But living in one of those small boxes? No thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You'd think that with the reduced space, the price would be less. You can get a more spacious business hotel room for far less.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Well, since it's a world-wide effort, where can I send money to help preserve a hobbit-sized, asbestos laden, post-war Metabolist movement hotel room with corroded pipes?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Asbestos !!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As someone who comes from a country where the preservationist mafia will intervene if you so much as suggest that we should maybe repaint one of those dime a dozen sixties housing projects in a different color this situation seems pretty bizarre, I mean if there's any building worth preserving this is it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everything's possible of course and important buildings are rare in Tokyo. It won't be economically feasible to safely remove the hazardous materials from the building and refurbish it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

looks cool but I wouldn't like to live anywhere asbestos if possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I used to work in a building designed by Kurokawa. It looked great. But functionally wise it was a failure. On average it was 3 degrees colder than in the atrium section of the building than it was outside. The prevailing winds in winter blow straight through building like a wind tunnel. A completely impractical design.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hugely BAAAAD concept someone managed to somehow build (would luckily never happen nowadays). Besides it's questionable value as a scientific trial of how small can the rabbit cages be made before Japanese start complaining, it has no other purpose.

Taking it down and replacing it with something that actually MAKES SENSE would, you know, make sense...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Clean it out, patch it up, cover or remove asbestos, charge me 60000 yen/month and I'm your man. Downtown Tokyo, man. Hell, yes!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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