The rights to reconstruct Kisho Kurokawa's iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower are currently sold on one of the largest NFT sites. While the tower’s demolition has begun earlier this year, the auction sells the right to rebuild the structure, in both the metaverse and in real space. The idea of recreating the Metabolic building in a virtual space seems natural. It could allow a larger community to explore an iconic piece of architecture and encourage them to experiment with it, an initiative in line with Metabolist ideals. On the other hand, the idea of reconstructing a demolished historical building in the physical world raises a different set of conflicting emotions. Architectural replicas are not the norm, but their existence raises questions regarding the identity and authenticity of works of architecture.
replicas: The Latest Architecture and News
Shanghai-based developer ZhongRong Holdings is working with Arup on an ambitious proposal to reconstruct Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace in London. Originally built to house the Great Exhibition of 1851, the 80,000 square-meter cast iron and glass structure was relocated from Hyde Park to south-east London in 1854 where it was ultimately destroyed by fire in 1936.
Modern architecture has a complicated relationship with originality. For centuries, emulating your elders was not only a compliment but a fundamental part of your education. But with the cult of personality surrounding early greats like Loos and Corbusier, everything changed, and emphasis was placed on the “lone genius” who could push the profession forward with a stroke of his (let’s be real, before the ’70s it was usually a “his”) pen. “Due to myths of authorship, and the media’s desire to simplify and personalize the design process, buildings are often attributed to a single person,” writes Sam Jacobs, the founder of UK design office FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste). In reality, great architecture is almost always the product of a team, usually building on the success of their past work.