The rights to rebuild Japan’s iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower – currently in the middle of demolition – are being auctioned off, and they include a metaverse and real-life version.
Architecture lovers were dismayed when news broke that the modular building, designed by Metabolist architect Kisho Kurokawa, had been consigned to the wrecking ball. Conversations about its demolition had been ongoing since 2006, but it was only earlier this year that a crew moved in to dismantle the 50-year-old Tokyo building.
However, the late Kurokawa’s studio is now auctioning a pair of NFTs on Opensea, which would give the owner the rights to reconstruct the tower – known and loved for its capsular apartments, which had originally been designed to be ‘unplugged’ and replaced over time.
The auction is happening in partnership with KABUKI X, an organisation that ‘inherits Japanese culture and creates new culture with the power and thoughts of everyone’. The Capsule Tower looks to be its first major project.
The two NFTs offer rights to rebuild the Nakagin Capsule Tower in the metaverse or the physical world, both based on archival drawings from Kisho Kurokawa Architect & Associates. Winners will receive the CAD as well as a digital model. The auction suggests new versions of the tower could be used as a resort, as temporary housing, or as mobile homes that could be moved ‘to the best area for each season’.
Another piece of Kurokawa’s architecture is being restored in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture, where a crowdfunding campaign is raising money to restore his Capsule House K as a rental property.
Bids close on 20 October 2022 for each NFT.