The Architect’s Guide to Building in the Metaverse

The metaverse is expanding what it means to be an architect


key takeaways

  • Architects play a key role in conceptualizing experiences that mirror and improve real-world designs, and physical constraints are no longer an obstacle in the metaverse
  • Real estate developers will also find opportunities to build new projects exclusively for the metaverse

As we progress to the next generation of the internet with Web3 and the metaverse, several disciplines such as architecture, design and real estate stand to change. Technological innovations create exciting new possibilities for digital real estate, leasing, advertising and anyone building in the metaverse.

For architects, the metaverse is a place where they can push formal boundaries and redefine what “space” means. It provides an opportunity for them to share unbuilt designs, expand their RFP process to all corners of the earth and increase the value of digital property. 

In this guide, we’ll explain what metaverse architecture is, the role of architects in this economy, and how it will affect businesses.

What is metaverse architecture?

Metaverse architecture is the art and technique of designing structures an immersive digital universe where people can interact with 3D models virtually. In the metaverse, architects typically reimagine existing structures in the digital realm — be it buildings, monuments or your favorite work desk.

In a way, it extends what we’re already doing — creating 3D models to guide what we’ll be creating in the real world. The key difference is while traditional architecture focuses on providing shelter and making life as easy as possible, metaverse architecture focuses on open-source, form, geometry and pure creativity — not confined to realism. And with the metaverse, these models no longer just sit on 3D software — they are being seen and used by the world. 

Who are the creators?


Architects play a key role in conceptualizing experiences that mirror and improve real-world designs. Physical restrictions like gravity no longer constrain them — we could have movable furniture or a room that expands to a party hall when needed. The possibilities are endless.

Game designers 

Game design is one of the most important aspects of blockchain games. Designers are responsible for creating virtual environments and gameplay that users enjoy. This challenge becomes even more complex in the metaverse. Designers need to go beyond gaming and focus on creating stories that unify both virtual and real experiences. For example, games where players can interact with virtual avatars of their friends, exactly how they do in the real world through virtual reality.

Content creators 

With the rise of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), content creators and artists can now take control of their work and connect directly with investors. Introducing the metaverse to this mix could add another dimension to content creation. 

For instance, musicians could hold virtual concerts in metaverse buildings where the entry pass could be an NFT. Similarly, metaverse creators could create NFT art to decorate virtual homes and sell them without any geographical limitations. 

Real estate developers

In an economy where land and houses are being sold as NFTs, real estate developers stand to benefit from the introduction of the metaverse.

In contrast to traditional real estate, ownership in the metaverse is designed to be transferable, absolute and involve far less paperwork. Some professionals are considering buying metaverse land in the same vein as the opportunity to buy real estate in Manhattan 250 years ago. Virtual land could very well be a way to invest in a new real estate game ahead of your peers, with incredible growth prospects.

With the influx of commercial players and brands such as Nike and Adidas buying plots of land, the metaverse real estate economy could grow exponentially.

The technology powering the metaverse

Digital twins 

Digital twins represent a physical asset virtually by using connected sources of information such as drone data, sensors, etc, to mirror real-life structures. This data can be used to create immersive open-source cities that emulate and enable advanced decision-making. 

The most exciting part of a digital twin is its ability to evolve and adapt based on user requirements on a moment’s notice. Interestingly, creators already achieved some aspects of this reality — most recently with replicas of Shanghai and Singapore

Metaverse creators are increasingly finding ways to integrate this technology into their virtual environments. For example, Realio, a blockchain based private equity platform, plans to launch the realioVerse – a digital twin creatively branded as a fork of the real world. It is an open-source city environment that enables you to buy, sell and build on land parcels in all major cities across virtual earth. 

It provides new value for collaboration and design for architects around the world.

Using digital twins in the metaverse could radically change how users interact with brands and businesses. For instance, consumers could just walk into virtual stores to try on new fashion on their realistic 3D avatars. Similarly, workshops can be held in shared virtual rooms where people can interact with the equipment virtually, no matter where they are located geographically.

AR cloud technology

Architects can also use augmented reality (AR) cloud technology to interface digital twins with the real world. Through AR, data can be overlaid onto real surfaces such as a tablet or smartphone, allowing for better visualization. In addition, smart glasses could further augment data onto the digital twin to provide real-time updates while interacting with it. 

Data visualization

With the growing repository of global data, visualizing it becomes increasingly complex. This is mainly due to the limitations of our current visualization and reporting tools — we just don’t have the means to integrate six different data sources and make sense of it. 

Using the Web3 metaverse provides the ability to see multiple dimensions of data simultaneously and can be interacted with from standard devices. Users can also opt for virtual reality (VR) headsets to drive a more collaborative environment free from distractions. Deriving actionable customer insights from this level of data visualization can unlock the next level of innovation.

Designing buildings in the metaverse

Building in the metaverse requires a shift in perspective and learning new skills. The metaverse encompasses many different layers of technology, such as 3D modeling, AR cloud technology, character design, NFTs, blockchain, geospatial mapping, and so on. This would open up the meaning of “architecture” to a far broader group of new and different specializations and talents.

In a metaverse built specifically for creators, the realioVerse encourages architects to utilize unique tools and virtual spaces built for their specialization, to make the design and development process more straightforward. Its native decentralized technology allows you to iterate and design quickly, while ensuring complete ownership over your creations. You can unlock your imagination and monetize your creations, easily and collaboratively.

The future business models of metaverse architecture

Smart monetization

Companies such as Sandbox and Decentraland have made significant strides in their attempts to create in the metaverse complete with virtual economies and NFTs. These virtual economies are powered by smart contracts, usually native to that specific metaverse. However, the concept of a metaverse is too vast to be restricted to one particular company or product. That’s where a smart monetization modeling comes in. A good business model would be a multiverse marketplace where NFTs and tokens can be monetized across metaverses.

Metaverse tokenomics

Just as the cost of living in New York City is higher than that of Minnesota, land parcels become as valuable as the demand for that specific metaverse. 

We know — that’s not very tangible. What happens if Nike decides to sell their land in the Sandbox and move elsewhere? Land value could go down just as fast as it went up.

This is why metaverse tokenomics are important. The realioVerse plans to introduce a new approach that addresses these land price volatility concerns. They will institute what is called the realioVerse Land Bank that backs every parcel of land with a percentage of total land sales. RealioVerse hopes that as this scales with increased activity, it will ensure it maintains an intrinsic and consistent value for its land holders.

Metaverse land 

Along with the perceived value based on the “locality” of your metaverse land, design also plays an important role. Like villas and beachfront properties can demand higher prices, land with custom designs can generate higher rental revenue from people who want to extend their lavish lifestyle to the metaverse.

Naturally, as there is more demand for land plots in that metaverse, the land value would also increase over time. These sales could generate profits for both the land owner and the parent company through royalties. 

Building the metaverse one brick at a time

The vision and definition of the metaverse are constantly evolving. While social gamification has been a key component, the industry needs real-world applications to scale beyond an audience of gamers. The realioVerse could be one of the first platforms to successfully capture the imagination of architects and provide them with the tools they need to launch a new virtual economy. They are at an early stage of development but have a subscriber list for all announcements and updates. Much of their success and any other attempts at forking the real world depends on the integration of technological advancements in digital twin 3D modeling and the augmented reality cloud.

This content is sponsored by Realio.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research



Aerodrome is a "MetaDEX" that combines elements of various DEX primitives such as Uniswap V2 and V3, Curve, Convex, and Votium. Since its launch on Base, it has become the largest protocol by TVL with more than $495M in value locked, doubling Uniswap's Base deployment.


Also, a look into how the highly-debated SAB 121 could end up shaking out for crypto custodians


Vance, an Ohio Republican, is largely seen as crypto-friendly


Plus, all the world is green as prices across the crypto space rally, with solana reaching a nearly two-week high


Investors add to crypto positions after “turnaround in sentiment due to lower-than-expected CPI,” CoinShares research head says


Plus, Ethereum is in the midst of a vibecession


Also, former Valkyrie CEO lands new leadership role at Canadian investment firm Cypherpunk Holdings