The Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo is one of architecture’s more interesting experiments. Under architect Kisho Kurokawa’s plan, the NCT complex was actually two towers, to which were affixed minuscule, pre-fab, cube-like apartments (the titular Capsules). The thinking was that residents could eventually upgrade or replace their apartments by popping the old one out and re-installing a new one.
As part of the Metabolism movement, which espoused the fusion of architecture with organic/biological principles, the building was erected in 1972, but never saw the capsule-swaps Kurosawa envisioned; while 20 of the units are still occupied, the building has fallen into a state of disrepair and infrastructure repairs have been deemed too expensive to undertake.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I really dug the design of the NCT’s built-in space-saving desks (above) in each unit. But from the photos, you really can’t tell how small the space is. You definitely can, however, in the video below, which shows one of the NCT capsules that has been preserved (more or less) in its original state from 1972.
Amazingly, you can spend the night in the NCT as one of the units is up on Airbnb. The first half of the video below is the tour, and the second shows a family of five (!) staying there.