27 September 2013

Photos Of Japanese Capsule Apartments Show How Micro-Living Is Really Like

US-based photographer Noritaka Minami created an intriguing photo series named “1972” that documents the tiny capsule apartments in a post-war residential building in Japan.

Way before micro-apartments became a trendy would-be solution for dense urban living in recent years, a small Japanese architectural group named “Metabolism” conceived of and built the Nakagin Capsule Tower in 1972.

Consisting of 140 apartments that measure just over 100 square feet each, the tower is surprisingly still occupied after 30 years—according to Minami, half of the apartments are used as offices, and those used as residences house a diverse mix of old and young, men and women.

The photographer’s recently captured pictures let us look at this architectural relic of the optimistic post-war years through new eyes and give us food for thought about our own plans to start living in micro-apartments en masse to solve the housing problem in crowded cities.

While a few of these apartments look neat and reasonably comfortable, many others look cramped and almost claustrophobic—the design of the tower also gives rise to many practical day-to-day problems for its residents, such as difficulties in maintenance.

After viewing these images, what do you think about micro-apartments?

[via Fast Co. Exist, Trendhunter]