Kisho Kurokawa was a leading Japanese Architect, Famous for the Nakagin Capsule Tower. There are many concepts Kurokawa used in the Capsule Tower that parallel Microsoft's Container Data Center.
The Nakagin Capsule Tower' (中銀カプセルタワー, Nakagin Kapuseru Tawā?) is a mixed-use residential and office tower designed by architect Kisho Kurokawa and located in Shimbashi, Tokyo, Japan. Completed in 1972, it has thirteen floors which house prefabricated modules (or "capsules") which are each self-contained units.
Construction took place in two separate places: on-site and off-site. On-site construction included the two towers and their energy-supply systems and equipment, while the capsule parts were fabricated and the capsules assembled at a factory.
The capsules were prefabricated and fitted out with utilities and interior fittings before being shipped to the building site, where they were attached to the concrete towers. Each capsule is attached independently and cantilevered from the shaft so that any capsule may be easily removed without affecting the others.
Here is a video of Kurokawa where he talks about a recyclable, sustainable design, creating the first building of its kind in the world. The capsule's life cycle was designed to be 25 years. Kurokawa emphasizes everything is designed to be maintained.
Another perspective is from a Dwell Article by Tom Vanderbilt.
In his own writings, Kurokawa, a Buddhist, offered a fitting and, especially now, quite haunting encomium to the capsule tower: "We used to consider things that could live forever to be beautiful. But this way of thinking has been exposed as a lie. True beauty lies in things that die, things that change."
35 years after the Nakagin Tower, Microsoft's First Container Data Center are the latest efforts to apply Kurokawa's concepts of a recyclable, sustainable design using containers.
The Nakagin tower didn't change the way the designer intended. Which is why it reached its obsolescence, and will be demolished.
Can Microsoft's first container data center avoid the same fate?
Is the container a new unit of maintenance for Microsoft's data center?