Metabolism in architecture
Presented with the opportunities of post-war rebuilding as a result of the devastation caused by the 1945 atomic bombs, designers and architects began to put into practice alternative theories and ideas for how cities should be designed.
Metabolism represented an urban environment that was responsive, replaceable and could grow in an organic way. It largely followed the ‘megastructure’ form that was gaining in popularity with architects and planners at the time, as a means of addressing the growing populations of urban areas and the rapidly-changing lifestyles of the post-war era. The principles of the megastructure were that it had to be modular, capable of extension and have a framework into which smaller elements could be ‘plugged’ or replaced.
The Japanese Metabolists were particularly inspired by University of East Anglia’s ‘Ziggurats’, as well as by Safdie’s Habitat 67 in Montreal. Although many projects failed to get off the ground, the examples of the Metabolist form include the battleship-esque New Sky Building in Shinjuku (see image above) and the Nakagin Capsule Tower.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Art Moderne.
- Buckminster Fuller.
- Constructivist architecture.
- Frei Otto.
- Fuji TV Building, Tokyo.
- Geodesic dome.
- Habitat 67.
- High-tech architecture.
- Last Futures: Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture.
- Lloyds of London.
- Nakagin Capsule Tower.
- Norfolk Terrace and Suffolk Terrace - ‘the Ziggurats’.
- Robot Building, Bangkok.
- Unusual building design of the week.
- Urban design.
 External references
- ‘Last Futures: Nature, Technology and the End of Architecture’, MURPHY D., Verso Books (2015).
Featured articles and news
A new concept unveiled to tackle the lack of sports facilities in inner cities.
'Open hand' designs revealed for a new entertainment complex in China.
Modernist architecture and its many international variations explained.
BRE support Europe-wide strategic heating plans for local and national authorities.
Work set to begin on 'one of America's greatest parks', which will be 10 times bigger than Central Park.
One of our most popular articles - RSHP's Mike Davies writes about the concept design process.
As Cuba mourn the death of Castro, major renovation of this symbolic landmark may be a reflection of the country's fresh start.
How cannabis plants are used to create an alternative building material with plenty of advantages.
What does Mayor Sadiq Khan's first policy statement mean for London's infrastructure?
Bjarke Ingels Group announced as winners of design competition for new residential landmark in Amsterdam.