Earlier this summer, it was reported that rapper-producer, designer, and businessman, Kanye West, had developed Star Wars-inspired affordable housing prototypes. However, their realization was short lived: They’ve now been demolished for failing to comply with building codes set forth by the Los Angeles County Public Works.
The first project from Yeezy Home, the architecture arm of his Yeezy label, the igloo-esque, modular housing units were ideas for low-income housing and accommodation for the homeless. Kanye took aesthetic inspiration from the houses designed for the desert planet of Tatooine in Star Wars, which were based on the vernacular architecture of Tunisia.
According to West, the units were to be prefabricated to keep costs down, and could be sunken into the ground with a lightwell carved into the top. These are features similar to the housing complexes of the Berbers of Matmata, Tunisia, who sink their homes in pits to keep them cool and cave-like. Situated on a 300-acre site near West’s home in Calabasas, the wooden dome structures were “oblong and dozens of feet tall”, according to Forbes.
Issues revolving around the prototypes began after neighbors complained about the construction noise. Construction crews were also working on weekends when they shouldn’t have been. Additionally, following subsequent visits by state inspectors, West informed them that the structures were temporary and, thus, did not need permits for permanent construction. However, during a later visit, inspectors noticed the homes had concrete foundations, which indicated a longer lasting construction. As a result, they issued a citation requiring West to apply for approval from the city or dismantle the buildings altogether. It is now clear which actions were taken.
According to TMZ, three out of the four prototypes were demolished, and the fourth will likely soon meet the same fate. It’s unclear what Kanye West’s and Yeezy Homes’ next move will be in the world of architecture and affordable housing design. We’ll just have to wait and see.