Japanese digital consultancy Gluon plans to preserve the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Tokyo, one of the most representative examples of Japanese Metabolism by Kisho Kurokawa. The “3D Digital Archive Project” is using a combination of measurement techniques to record the iconic building in three dimensions and recreate it in the Metaverse. The tower is currently being demolished due to the structure's precarious state and incompatibility with current seismic standards, as well as the general state of decay and lack of maintenance.
The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building is considered the embodiment of a bold architectural vision: that of organic growth and extreme flexibility. The construction was finalized in 1972, but the concept of metabolism understood the building as being dynamic, in a constant state of flux. The 140 capsules plugged into the central core, 14-story high, were supposed to be added, exchanged, or replaced every 25 years. This reflected the metabolic ideas of the 1960s, which saw the city as an ever-changing, dynamic concept driven by influential trans-cultural aspects.
Despite its international acclaim, this idea did not withstand the test of time. The pods gradually deteriorated as the poor maintenance led to drainage and damaged water pipes. Although the architecture was specifically designed to allow for the replacement of the pods, the feature hasn't been exploited. After the demolition was officially announced, efforts have been underway to reuse some of the original capsules as accommodation units and museum installations. However, the team at Gluon proposes an alternative: preserving the three-dimensional image of the building for the public to explore freely.
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