A Symbol of Japan’s Period of High Economic Growth

Nakagin Capsule Tower

This apartment building consisting of 140 units is located in the outskirts of one of Tokyo’s famous shopping districts. The building was designed by Kisho Kurokawa, and was completed in 1972. It comprises two “towers” that contain the elevators and the building’s piping, and a series of capsules. Each capsule measures a height of 2.2 meters, and is approximately 10 square-meters in size. After being produced in a factory the capsules were transported to site and plugged into the tower structure through use of a crane. The width of the capsule unit was inevitably determined based on the width of the road. These residences envisioned as second homes for businessmen amidst Japan’s period of high economic growth, are also the prototype of the capsule hotel that would come to be recognized as a symbol of Japanese culture.

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  • Nakagin Capsule Tower

    Chuo, Tokyo

    Kisho Kurokawa

    1972

    Photo credit: Tomio Ohashi

    © KISHO KUROKAWA Architect & Associates

  • Nakagin Capsule Tower

    Chuo, Tokyo

    Kisho Kurokawa

    1972

    Photo credit: Tomio Ohashi

    © KISHO KUROKAWA Architect & Associates