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A developer in New York City bought the city’s first non-fungible token (NFT) office building. The 4700 square meters NFT, “located” at 44 West 37th Street, serves as an irreversible digital asset that speaks to revolutionizing how we design, develop, run, and monetize our spaces with just “one-click.” The 16-story structure was designed by the spatial intelligence firm Integrated Projects and examines the role of architecture in Real Estate and the Metaverse.
The 44W37 NFT, which was created on the decentralized, open-source blockchain Ethereum, was sold for one Ethereum. But what exactly are NFTs? NFTs are one-of-a-kind tokens produced on the blockchain that symbolize something unique. They are typically used to sell digital assets such as art or music using cryptocurrency like as ETH or Ethereum, which function as a cryptographic means of exchange over a computer network. Real estate now exists in two forms: physical real estate NFTs that can be tokenized, and virtual real estate NFTs that are a piece of land within the digital realm, also known as the Metaverse.
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The Great Real Estate NFT of New York City
Owners may develop, own, sell, and monetize digital assets without having to worry about transferring property ownership. That is, instead of selling or buying tangible property, one sells or buys photos, 3D scans, blueprints, virtual tours, and location data. The transaction process is expedited using an NFT, allowing a buyer to take possession of a piece of real estate in minutes. Furthermore, “NFTs may save owners time, expense, and coordination associated with reproducing the accurate existing conditions of their physical space by painting a survey-grade picture of the building’s physical characteristics—architecture, equipment, and mechanical,” according to Integrated Projects.
Although these Properties do not address the physical and human challenges that architecture has faced for millennia, they do spark a fresh discussion in the field. Market capitalization appears to be the virtual design axis in the virtual world, forcing architecture towards conjecture and simple representations. NFTs, on the other hand, provide the potential to set rigorous ownership laws, not only in real estate but also in intellectual property.
“New York is the Rosetta Stone of the twentieth century,” wrote Rem Koolhaas in Delirious New York. The “44W37,” like many other skyscrapers in Manhattan, heralds the start of a new age in architecture and real estate in megacities. The debut of MetaMundo’s 3D NFT Villa calls into question the role of architecture in the Metaverse. Renowned architects have already expressed their opinions: Rashed Singaby, senior project designer at HOK, stated that “the potential is almost limitless between designing for the metaverse and harnessing its capabilities,” and Leon Rost, director of BIG, considers the Metaverse inherent in architecture, where “structure, materiality, and cost go out the window.”