metabolist architecture

Prefabricated, modular, flexible, space-saving, eco-capsule pod living – sounds super-futuristic, right? Not quite: Metabolism as an architectural movement has actually been around for decades, and this incredible pair of residential capsule towers in Japan shows how fast the future can become the past.

metabolist interior design

Wary of fixed form and function in a fast-evolving world, Metabolists were mostly theorists – this work is a rare built example of a movement that, while now extinct, is enjoying a revival through new eco-friendly and sustainable philosophies of design. These modules were correspondingly designed to detach easily from the core towers for fast and efficient replacement (or upgrades).

metabolism building

metabolist movement pod tower

Unfortunately, this idealist vision of Japanese residential living has not worked as expected – to the point where the degrading, small-square-footage units were slated for demolition in recent years. Only a push to save the design has preserved it so far – and the modularity of the design, since this will enable them to keep the core structures while replacing the component pods.