Why This Futuristic Megastructure Just Failed



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The Nakagin Capsule Tower was one of the most prominent constructions from the Metabolist movement. It was designed in 1972 by Kisho Kurokawa to serve a growing population of mobile business person in Tokyo, Japan. It was composed of 140 capsules attached to concrete towers. These 100 sf units were designed to be removable and replaceable over time. However, the building stood for 50 years without a single unit being replaced. Finally, it fell into such disrepair that it needed to be demolished. This video tells the story of the Nakagin Capsule Tower, its design, construction, life, and ultimate demise.

Exhibition of photographs can be found here : https://mascontext.com/events/1972-accumulations

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Architecture with Stewart is a YouTube journey exploring architecture’s deep and enduring stories in all their bewildering glory. Weekly videos and occasional live events breakdown a wide range of topics related to the built environment in order to increase their general understanding and advocate their importance in shaping the world we inhabit.

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Stewart Hicks is an architectural design educator that leads studios and lecture courses as an Associate Professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He also serves as an Associate Dean in the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts and is the co-founder of the practice Design With Company. His work has earned awards such as the Architecture Record Design Vanguard Award or the Young Architect’s Forum Award and has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial and Design Miami, as well as at the V&A Museum and Tate Modern in London. His writings can be found in the co-authored book Misguided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published with the Graham Foundation, as well as essays in MONU magazine, the AIA Journal Manifest, Log, bracket, and the guest-edited issue of MAS Context on the topic of character architecture.

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