“Micro apartments” using the modular construction may be a new trend in United states of America, with the first building having these apartments recently being constructed in Manhattan, New York. The city dwellers were allowed to sleep inside the prototypes of these apartments at a museum exhibit to experience the new affordable, 250 to 370 square feet apartments.
The director of the museum called them as the “future of housing in our city”
But is it really the future or an idea brought back to life from the past?
In Japan. post world war II, these kinds of homes were proposed as the future of housing as well back in the 60s. A few architects started work on materializing them under the banner “metabolism” .The idea was to make small capsule apartments for businessmen planning to stay in the urban setting for a week. But by the time their most notable project “Nakagin Capsule Tower” was ready back in 1972, the 60s were over and so was the need of those micro apartments. The size of the capsule was around 100 square feet each with around a total of 140 in number in the tower. These apartments were taken by people who cannot afford a bigger place but a lot of them are occupied as small offices.
Those after so many years, people want the building demolished and rebuilt as a more conventional kind of construction, the tower is still occupied thanks to the financial crisis. Noritaka Minami, a photographer who documented the tower in 2010, reported it to be the “only building of its kind instead of a model for modern construction as hoped.”
It’s failure can be largely because of the fact that it does not occupy the space in the most economical of ways and the maintenance is very difficult due to the complicated fittings.
Upon his visit, Minami recorded that, “There was a historic heatwave that was going through the city, and the particular capsule that I visited, the air conditioning was broken. Not only that, the capsules’ striking porthole windows don’t open. It was like a sauna inside.”