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Kanye West Prototypes Could Face Demo

Friday, August 16, 2019

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Rapper and entrepreneur Kanye West is well on his way constructing an affordable housing community in Calabasas, California. The structures, however, reportedly violate construction laws and are in danger of demolition.

Yeezy History

This isn’t the first time West has expressed interest in architecture or low-income housing.

In June of last year, West released renderings of what was then labeled Yeezy Home and Jalil Peraza, who had previously worked with West on his DONDA label and who currently owns the company Face Modules, which provides prefabricated volumes for commercial spaces, posted a photo on Instagram depicting a concrete building arranged around a courtyard, captioned, “Low income housing scheme, made of prefabricated concrete and expanded polystyrene components.”

Peraza also credited himself with the design, along with Petra Kustrin, Nejc Skufca, Vadik Marmeladov and West.

This is the first look at any design plans for the venture, which was informally announced by West via Twitter a month earlier.

“We’re starting a Yeezy architecture arm called Yeezy home. We’re looking for architects and industrial designers who want to make the world better," West wrote at the time.

West first spoke about his interest in architecture in a BBC interview in 2013 when he was promoting his album "Yeezus."

"I want to do product, I am a product person," said West. "Not just clothing but water bottle design, architecture ... I make music but I shouldn't be limited to once place of creativity.

"I'm learning what I want," he said. "This is the reason why I'm working with five architects at a time. The time spent in a bad apartment, I can't get that back. But the education I can get from working on it is priceless."

His heavily brutalist-inspired Calabasas studio has also made headlines in the industry, and recently West posted photos of his recently constructed 8,000-square-foot Hidden Hills, California, family home, on which West worked with designer Axel Vervoordt.

What Now

The homes currently under construction in Calabasas, however, look at a bit different than last year’s renderings.

Last month, Forbes writer Zack O’Malley was given a tour of the prototypes and described them as akin to the Tatooine settlements in Star Wars, which were inspired by housing design inn Tunisia.

The homes are igloo-like with wooden skeletal frames about 50 feet tall. The frames are slightly sunk into the ground with holes cut in the top to allow for natural light.

The work is taking place on about 300 acres that the rapper owns with his wife, Kim Kardashian West, prompting neighbors to complain about the construction.

As a result, inspectors went out twice to the property last month. During the first visit, the on-site property manager reportedly told inspectors that the domes were temporary, which would mean they didn’t require permits.

On the second trip, however, inspectors noticed concrete foundation, which led them to issue a citation.

West has 45 days after the citation (July 30) to either submit plans for approval or demolish the structures. If he doesn’t remedy the situation in that timeframe, fines could reach a minimum of $1,400.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Color + Design; Design; NA; North America; Regulations

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