Pictures Reveal Life Inside Tiny Futuristic Cubes

Tokyo grew fast in the 1960s, and personal space was at a premium. Architect Kisho Kurokawa designed a unique building as a vision of the future- capsule apartments. It's called Nakagin Capsule Tower.

From the outside, the tower looks like a stack of laundry machines. It is comprised of two concrete cores, 11 and 13 stories high, onto which are attached “removeable” cubes. Each cube, measuring 107 square feet, was prefabricated in a factory and then attached to the cores using 4 high-tension bolts. These capsule rooms, as they are called, are furnished with basic appliances and a bathroom the size of an airplane lavatory.

The building was built in 1972 in just 30 days. Kurokawa envisioned this building as the dawn of a new age.

The capsules were designed to last 25 years and then be replaced. But 25 years later, the cost of replacing them had become prohibitively expensive. Kurokawa died in 2007. So what happened to the building? The building became run down, and the resident investors planned to tear it down. But that also became prohibitively expensive. And there are people still living there today. Photographer Noritaka Minami occasionally visited Nakagin Capsule Tower over the last ten years, photographing the exterior and interior. Take a look inside the capsule apartments at National Geographic. -via Boing Boing

(Image credit: Noritaka Minami)

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