One of the world's ugliest buildings is finally gone: the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa and completed in 1972, the building attracted a lot of attention and is featured in thousands of architecture books.
This monstrosity was considered the epitome of two important movements: minimalism, which was of course worldwide, and metabolism. Metabolism was a Japanese movement whose adherents thought buildings should be built in a cellular way, so that they could grow or shrink organically and failing parts could be easily replaced. The idea was that the "capsules" would be replaced as they wore out, and that the electrical systems and so on would be upgraded each time. But, in practice it was nearly impossible to replace the pods, so that didn't happen and the whole building gradually decayed.
This is one of the galling things about 20th-century modernism; the ideology of these architects was all about functionality and technology, but in practice their buildings were often badly laid out, hard to maintain, and expensive to heat and cool. Plus, their roofs leaked. So this "futuristic" building was all but useless after only 40 years.
The tower consisted of 140 self-contained "pods" connected to a steel frame. Each pod measures 2.5 m (8.2 ft) by 4.0 m (13.1 ft) with a 1.3 m (4.3 ft) diameter window at one end. They were designed as living space, but many ended up being used as offices.
These photographs by Noritaka Minami show that some people were able to do interesting things even with these awful spaces.
But if you ask me, the world is better off without this thing in it.