Nakagin Capsule Tower Building

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The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building built 1970-1972 is a famous example of Japan’s metabolist movement. Now almost 39 years old, the deteriorating building is plagued with water leaks and asbestos problems.

The capsules were designed for single occupants, but there was also the possibility to connect several with a common doorway for families.

The building consists of two cores to which a total of 140 individual capsules are attached. Each capsule is attached to the core by only four bolts. There is a capsule on public display outside the entrance. Although the capsules were designed to be removable and replaceable, none of them have been replaced yet.

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Many of the capsule owners are investors who are renting out the rooms to single business people, many of whom work in design-related fields.

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Land Lease:
While the capsules can be purchased, the land itself is leasehold with only 22 years remaining. The 60 year leasehold started when the building was completed in April, 1972, and will end in 2032. The lease is under the old law, so it may be renewable if the all parties reach agreement.

Problems:
Because the building poses and earthquake risk and has become increasingly costly and difficult to maintain, the owners had voted in favour of demolishing and rebuilding but no action was taken and the vote has been nullified.

Some of the problems include:

  • Roof leaks.
  • Aging water pipes.
  • Broken hot water system which means hot water is no longer supplied to the capsules. Residents must use a portable shower in the building’s garage if they want a hot shower.
  • Windows. An opening window was an option when capsules were first sold and many of the original owners opted for fixed windows. This causes heat to build up and occupants must rely on air conditioning.
  • Asbestos. The original built-in air conditioning system has asbestos components so repairs are necessary before using the old air conditioners. Many of the units have had their original interiors removed and modern facilities installed.
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Underneath the capsules
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The original air conditioning unit in a capsule.

 

Capsules previously listed for Rent:
– 6F 10.00 sqm (108sqft) 68,000 Yen/Month
– 11F 10.00sqm (108sqft) 58,000 Yen/Month

Capsules previously listed for Sale:
– 5F 10.00sqm 3,800,000 Yen
Maintenance fee: 16,200 Yen/Month
Restoration fee: 3,500 Yen/Month
Land Lease: 2,000 Yen/Month
Owner-change (rented at 48,000 Yen/Month)
Gross Return: 14.77% pa

– 6F 10.00sqm 3,700,000 Yen
Maintenance fee: 16,200 Yen/Month
Restoration fee: 3,500 Yen/Month
Land Lease: 2,000 Yen/Month
Status: Vacant

– 6F 10.00sqm 2,500,000 Yen
Status: Vacant

Details:
– Location:
– Land: 429.51 sqm
– Building area: 3,091.23 sqm
– Built: April, 1972
– Construction: SRC 11 and 13 stories + 1 basement
– Construction Company: Taisei Corporation
– Developer: Nakagin Mansion
– Architect: Kisho Kurokawa
– No. of units: 140
– Land Ownership: 60 year old leasehold starting from April, 1972

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Sources:

Details:
– Location:
– Land: 429.51 sqm
– Building area: 3,091.23 sqm
– Built: April, 1972
– Construction: SRC 11 and 13 stories + 1 basement
– Construction Company: Taisei Corporation
– Developer: Nakagin Mansion
– Architect: Kisho Kurokawa
– No. of units: 140
– Land Ownership: 60 year old leasehold starting from April, 1972 (What does this mean?)
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