The death of Metabolism- the New Sky Biru
The New Sky Building in Shinjuku belongs to the stable of architecture known as Metabolism, a 1970’s movement in Japan to create utilitarian, utopian, bolt-on and off structures that can change and evolve as needed.Â It was a grand-sounding vision that never went mainstream, as Metabolist buildings were often a nightmare to construct and far too much effort to actually ‘transform’ by re-bolting. Another example is the Nakagin Capsule Hotel Tower in Shimbashi- slated for destruction.
Bolt-on modules up the left side.
I first heard about this place from the Japanese Eye blog and book-marked it in my mind for shooting. Some time later and I’d forgotten about it, then one Adrian Tan offered me the location in exchange for the location of the Fuchu Air Base- a trade I was happy to make.
I turned up thinking the place might be a haikyo, but it turned out to have some security on the ground floor and some work going on a few floors up. I was still able to stroll in the first floor though and look around, just staying clear of the one occupied room.
Mail boxes, corridor.
The steps to the second floor were only half-heartedly roped off so I stepped over and went up. The first floor was an open concrete roof area, looking up to the main structure, with walkways almost tunneled through it at wonky angles.
Round the corner was a weirdly small spiral staircase winding up to the area where people were active in a room at the end of a corridor. I didn’t dare poke my head around the corner when I saw the light from their room and heard movement.
Odd little port holes.
Location – Shinjuku.
Entry – Over a little bit of rope, no signs.
Facts – 1970’s.
Highlights – When leaving and stepping back over the rope I caught my foot and nearly fell, with a salaryman standing nearby talking on his phone and watching me. Embarassing.
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