The Nakagin Capsule Tower, designed by Kisho Kurokawa, opened in March of 1972 as an ideal for architecture, allowing for a flexible capsule based system that would change and grow over time. Unfortunately the idea never really stuck and these capsules, meant to last around 25 years, are still in use to this day. Photographer Noritaka Minami has created a photo series titled 1972 which explores the Capsule Tower, giving insight into the decaying building.
This prototype for a new lifestyle for the 21st Century ultimately proved to be an exception rather than the rule. The Nakagin Capsule Tower in fact became the last of its kind completed in the world. Furthermore, the building has never undergone the process of regeneration during the 40 years of existence. None of the original capsules have ever been replaced, even though Kurokawa intended them to sustain a lifespan of only 25 years. As the capsules accumulate patina on their shells through the passage of time, they exist as a reminder of a future imagined to be possible at that moment in Japan as well as a future that never came.