The pods are easily attached to the spinal


The Japanese modern architecture movement known as
‘Metabolism’ began in the late 1950’s. However, the movements most influential
work came to fruition throughout the 1960’s and into the early 70’s. After the
architecture group known as CIAM founded by Le Corbusier and other Western
architects disbanded in 1959, the metabolist movement filled the void left in
modern Japanese architecture. The large scale damage caused by the second world
war presented a blank canvas for the future of its urban design and public
spaces. The metabolist architects believed cities should not consist of static
objects, but be ever evolving and organic. Architecture with a ‘metabolism’.
Any structures built after the war that took into the consideration population
growth, should have a limited lifespan and should have a replaceable design. In
order to meet these requirements metabolist architecture is built a central
structure which acts like a spine. Cell like pods are easily attached to the
spinal structure. When the lifespan is over each pod can be replaced.   


Metabolist plans such as space cities and suspended urban
landscape pods where so advanced they were never fully achieved. A theoretical
plan for a floating city in the Tokyo Bay was presented to the World Design
Conference in 1960 by Kenzo Kurokawa. Helix City created by Kisho Kurokawa in
1961 was his metabolic solution for urbanism. Meanwhile in the united states theoretical
architects where also being exhibited. Anne Tyng presented her City tower
design and Friedrich St. Florian his 300 story vertical city. The 1960 Word
Design Conference in Tokyo was a chance for young Japanese architects to
challenge the traditional European ideas about urbanism. The
ideas and philosophies of Fumihiko Maki, Masato Otaka, Kiyonari Kikutake, and
Kisho Kurokawa were consolidated in a document called ‘Metabolism 1960’. Many
of these architects were taught by Kenzo Tange at Tokyo university. Some people
believe that work taught on Kenzo Tange course was influenced by American
architect Louis Khan. The stacked modular towers designed for the Richards
medical centre by Kahn firm reassembled the ideals of metabolism. This
previously unseen use of space became a precedent. Anne Tyng, was a partner at
Kahn firm and influenced his work. Habitat ’67 in Montreal, Canada was designed
by Moshe Safdie who was an apprentice of Louis Khan. Some believe that the
design of Johnson Wax Research tower by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1950, was the
initial influence for these architects.




short book called “The proposal for a New Urbanism” was written collectively by
Kenzo Tange, Masato Otaka, Fumihiko Maki, Noboru Kawazoe, Kisho Kurokawa,
kiyoshi Awazu and Kiyonori Kikutake. The book was released at the World Design
Conference in 1960. The name Mega-structures was given to many of the projects
by these architects. The plans they designed where often large or for entire
cities. The belief was that cities are alive and change with time, like a living
organism. Japan’s population was growing rapidly, so buildings designed by
these architects where often for a large number of people and could be changed
when its purpose expired. Possibly the most notable example is Nakagin Capsule
Tower by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972. Each rectangular module was an apartment with
a solitary round window. These Capsules versatile and interchangeable, each one
can be moved to a new position or replaced. When advances are made the older
modules can be replaced with a newer model. However, the current occupants plan
to demolish Kurokawa’s building in order to construct something larger. 1


The Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne, more
commonly known as CIAM, was founded in Switzerland in 1928. The aim of this architectural
association was to introduce modernism on a global scale. Based upon urban
patterns in the United States in 1930s, CIAM encouraged the idea that urban
development should be guided by four functional categories: work,
transportation, dwelling and recreation. 2 By the mid- 1930’s CIAM had become
a pseudo-political party. Le Corbusier and other architects within the group
had the goal of promoting modern architecture on a global scale. In the post-
war period Le Corbusier and other members of CIAM began to design architecture in
the City of Chandigarh, India. Their modernist goals first gained traction
though this architecture.