The inhabitants of the tower decidiron demolish to build a traditional office tower, but the international community of architects objects. Is an exponent of the historical value of what could have been our cities today. Remember the paths not taken, and shows that there were different possibilities for designing the world we live in today.
The Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, author of the tower, died on October 12, 2007 at age 73. Recognized worldwide as the founder of the Metabolism Movement, among its projects include the reform of the Japanese Embassy in Berlin, Kuala Lumpur Airport, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Museum of Art, Nagoya City among others. One of his latest projects is the National Art Center Tokyo.
Over 40 years of occupation was honored at times, which include the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture.
At the end of War 98% of the buildings and houses in Tokyo were destroyed. During the reconstruction several architects believed that architecture should be as “modular” as possible, were part of the metabolic turnover. They thought they would live better if the structures are flexible and extensible architecture, if they could grow like a living organism from modules.
The building consists of two large columns that form the core vertical. In this kernel is “hung” 140 prefabricated capsules, each attached to one of the two columns with four screws. The capsules can be replaced by new ones over time. The capsules are prefabricated and moved, a television, a bathroom, a kitchenette, a bed, two wardrobes and a large porthole.
The building remains standing, but only by the economic crisis suffered by Japan and the world, and not because they rescue their historical and cultural values, as representative of a time and thought. But the demolition would be a great loss because the Capsule Tower is not only a magnificent work is the realization of a powerful cultural ideal. Their existence is also a powerful reminder of roads that were not followed, the possibility of worlds with different value systems. Metabolism Movement, founded by a group of architects in the late 1950′s, sought to create flexible urban models for rapidly changing society. Floating cities. Cities inspired by oil rigs. Reflected the transformation of Japan from a rural to an urban, universal trends, such as social dislocation and fragmentation of the traditional family.
The lack of maintenance caused a serious deterioration of the structure and hence quality of life for its residents. The tower can not be saved without doing a complete restoration. Why choose to preserve some buildings and not others?. Dozens of ancient villas and masterpieces of the modern movement were restored although some were in worse condition. Government agencies and nonprofit groups also spend large sums of money to the restoration of important civic works. These are not politically attractive investments, do not feed the vanity of an investor and offer cultural prestige. Private developments such as the Capsule Tower errónaeamente considered only as a function of private property rights, so first is the business, not culture. Governments do not act like the private sector, is deaf to the voice of preservatives. The opinion is: “Do you want to save him pay.” While this mentality is changed, the demolition will continue to threaten architectural landmarks and cultural loss will continue. It is an architectural tragedy, which also erases the evidence of history. The Nakagin Capsule Tower is in the World Heritage List DOCOMOMO International Committee since 1996. (International Working Group for Documentation and Conservation of buildings, sites and neighborhoods of the Modern Movement DOCOMOMO).