New Sky Building
The New Sky Building in Shinjuku (ニュースカイビル) is an amazing structure born from the Metabolism movement, an idyllic type of architecture from the 70’s that is supposed to be able to evolve through time thanks to a modular design (an even more famous building of the same type is also still kicking in Tokyo, and it’s called the Nakagin Capsule Tower). When I originally wrote about it in 2010, it was on its way to be demolished and was in total disrepair.
Since then, it was totally renovated and looks brand-new. The cyan color that was used to repaint it is quite ugly, I am not sure if there is a reason for that, but it doesn’t respect its original color from the 70’s. Here is what it looked before against now.
Not only I got better at taking photos but there is a big difference in timing 😉 But you’ll be able to notice the difference of colors and state.
My visit in 2010
This building is a jewel of Metabolism, a movement that promotes modular structures, which can be dismantled, modified, reassembled, and are expected to adapt to the passage of time. I decided on this beautiful Saturday to go take pictures of the New Sky Building, without suspecting that a surprise awaited me.
It is quite difficult to find good angles for sightseeing. I went in front of the building, on a nearby roof, before I was quickly cast away by one of the inhabitants and her dog. She wanted to call the police so I had to run for my life! A small daycare with children, however, allowed me to use their roof.
The entrance of the New Sky Building. Despite his navy blue sign, it displays an inglorious air, the lost war of metabolism surely. The door is wide open, but many messages rather invite us to turn back.
So many letterboxes which haven’t been opened for a long time.
Looks like a real battleship now, which went through many seas.
But the side of the building remind us more of a spaceship.
I met two young people at the entrance of the building with a bunch of bags. I try to talk a little, and I find out that the guy is actually a DJ who will do a party on the roof of the building.
He is well informed: the guardian is not here tonight, so it’s a chance! Of course, I joined them, and soon a score of people are up there. This is me, happy to be on the building’s amazing rooftop. Not a very flattering pose 😉
Now we are on the dock of the ship, floating all over Shinjuku.
The DJ is quietly installing his equipment, while the the sun sets slowly. The view and the colors are beautiful.
Perhaps the last party ever on the New Sky Building? More people join, start drinking. The music also starts, like a humming in the background.
An alternative evening relaxing and very friendly. This group meets regularly in person in wacky places to drink and relax on a background of music.
Of course, all this is not very legal and we came across strange substances. But I guess those guys are in a special bubble impossible to break in, only allowed for dreamers. And tomorrow, everybody will be back to work, as if nothing happened.
The New Sky Building is now about to disappear but we had an unforgettable moment, completely disconnected from reality.
Well, not really, now that the New Sky Building is back 🙂 But of course, this old vibe went away when the building was completely washed and refurbished.