Post-War Reaction: Metabolist Architecture

The metabolist architecture was a post-war architectural style that emerged in Japan with a manifesto that some architects presented at World Design Conference in 1960. Metabolist architects wanted to create designs that were sustainable and could respond to changes in their eras quickly. Due to the devastating results of the world wars, this movement aimed to combine futuristic megastructures with biological growth, hence the name ”metabolism” to symbolize sustainability and ever-growing organisms. Another aim of this movement was to create a solution for the growing population of Japan and to link traditional Japanese architectural features to contemporary styles.

Some of the leading figures of this movement were Kiyonari Kikutake, Noriaki ”Kisho” Kurokawa, Masato Otaka, and Noboru Kawazoe.

Nagakin Capsule Tower

Nagakin Capsule Tower is the most prominent symbol of Metabolistic architecture. Kisho Kurokawa, one of the leading figures of the movement, was the architect of this project. It is the world’s first capsule architecture designed for actual and permanent usage and it was built in 1972. However, the building was permanently closed in 2022 due to disrepair. Some of the capsules will be preserved or reused in the future.

Nagakin Capsule Tower, Japanese Metabolist Architecture
Metabolist Architecture

Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center

Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center was built in 1967 in Tokyo. The creator of the building is Kenzo Tange, one of the most famous post-war architects of Japan. His students were the leading figures of the Metabolist Movement. The building’s main infrastructural base enables it to accommodate additions of capsules over time.

Shizuoka Press and Broadcasting Center, Metabolist Architecture

Embassy of Kuwait

The embassy of Kuwait is in Tokyo, Japan. The architect of the building was also Kenzo Tange and it was built in 1970. The project has both the ambassador’s residence and the chancellery.

Metabolist Architecture

Ministry of Highway Construction

The building is in Tbilisi, Georgia, and was built in 1975. George Chakhava, then minister of Highway Construction, was also one of the architects of this project. The building was done on the concept of ”Space City” where the ground space is minimized so that the landscape flows through it and then nature and the concrete connect. It is now the headquarters of the Bank of Georgia.


The Interlace

The Interlace is in Singapore, and it was influenced both by the ”space city” method and the Metabolist movement. The architect of this construction is Ole Scheeren. The residential complex won the Urban Habitat Award in 2014.

The Interlace
Metabolist Architecture