The Nakagin Towers, an apartment complex of tiny apartments that are part of Tokyo’s architectural heritage, will be demolished next month after a long battle to try to salvage the complex.
Tatsuyuki Maeda, who bought his apartment in 2010, told AFP that the owners of these condominiums, designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and opened in 1972, want to try to salvage some parts of the building, but demolition is scheduled for April 12.
The work consists of two adjacent towers of 11 and 13 floors and contains 140 housing capsules with an area of 10 square meters distributed around a central column.
The units were designed to be removed and replaced independently every 25 years, but this never happened, and the buildings began to deteriorate.
“We don’t know how many capsules we will be able to salvage, but we plan to restore and refurbish some of the deteriorating parts to send to museums,” Maeda said.
Maeda believes this won’t be the end of the apartment complex, and he hopes the capsules will have a second life. According to him, the agency of architect Kisho Kurokawa, who died in 2007, is part of this restoration project.
Over the years, Maeda and other owners have campaigned to save the group, the motto of building post-WWII Japan, which portrays itself as the “city of the future.”
Fans of the project expressed their grief on social media and also resigned.
“It was a valuable thing but demolishing was the right decision because it was so degraded,” one Twitter user wrote.
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