Kanye West is making headlines once again. This time, American rapper plans to create affordable housing for the homeless. What makes the plan eyebrow-raising is the fact that he plans to build Star Wars-inspired houses.
Kanye West Wants To Build Star Wars Inspired Homes
Back in July 2019, the musician revealed the houses’ prototypes when he was interviewed by Forbes. He said that the inspiration, when creating these houses, came from the epic saga of Star Wars. And when you take a look at the houses, you’ll instantly see that the design looks almost the same as the houses from the planet Tatooine.
West said that the houses would be prefabricated, and can even be submerged underground. A lightwell would be carved onto the topmost area. The musician-turned-entrepreneur plans to have the houses built for the homeless.
In Star Wars, the planet shots for Tatooine were taken in the Tunisian desert. The location features earthen houses that have domed copulas, and are almost the same as the houses you can find in Matmata, Tunisia. The people known as Berbers sunk their homes into pits, which make the homes look cave-like, while at the same time helping them to stay cool.
Kanye West first announced his project, known as Yeezy Home, on Twitter back in 2018. He called out for industrial designers and architects to help in the project. The rapper said he wanted to make the world better.
One of the first people to show interest in Kanye West’s plan was Jalil Peraza. The designer has worked with the musician before. He posted renders of the project on Instagram, but deleted them after.
Kanye West Houses Taken Down
A few months after Kanye West announced the prototypes of the Star Wars-themed houses, the actual homes were taken down. The main reason was that the American rapper had not applied for the necessary permits.
Four houses were taken down on the rapper’s property in Calabasas, California. The houses were part of Kanye West’s design empire, Yeezy.
The complaints started in July, when the construction of the houses was loud enough to disturb the neighbourhood. His property’s construction noise resulted in his neighbours complaining to the Department of Public Works of Los Angeles County. During their investigation, they discovered the rapper had not secured the necessary permits to build anything on his property.
According to reports, the homes were just prototypes, and were only meant to be temporary structures. However, one of the inspectors found an issue, because the prototypes were constructed on a concrete base. To the inspector, this meant that the prototypes may have become permanent.
Kanye West was told by the Department of Public Works to file the needed permits for 45 days. However, 1 week before the 45 days ended, 3 of the houses were already torn down.
But the American rapper wants to develop whole cities. He said in an interview with Charlamagne Tha God, "I'm going to be one of the biggest real-estate developers of all time, like what Howard Hughes was to aircrafts and what Henry Ford was to cars... tired of the McMansions, all the Spanish roof homes and stuff like that."
If West wants to rebuild the houses, he may have a better chance in the state of Wyoming, where he has recently purchased two ranches. However, the state doesn’t have an immediate need for affordable housing projects, since it only has less than 650 homeless people. In hindsight, the number of residential building permits released by Wyoming has increased to almost 12%. Plus, he’ll have more chances in avoiding complaining neighbours.
Star Wars Inspired Properties
If Kanye West wants to start creating Star Wars-themed properties again, maybe he can take inspiration from these other Star Wars-inspired properties:
1. New Zealand’s Eco Beach House
If you were to ask Len Pager what he’s most proud of, he might tell you that it’s the house he built back in the 1980s. He might describe his property this way: “It doesn’t leak, it’s warm and light, and the materials used are satisfactory for everyone.”
Len Pager moved to New Zealand in 1963, and he brought with him his strong environmentalist ethic, skills, and tools. Fortunately, he found the perfect spot for his creation at Anawhata. The place is located just south of Bethells and north of Piha ,and is one of the most peaceful places on the coast.
Almost every part of the house is curved, including the roof, walls, verandas, and carport. His house also features tawa floors, an insulated iron cladding, a steel superstructure, and a plywood interior sarking. He won’t need to put up curtains, since the house lets in enough amount of natural light.
The house’s design is an open-plan, and can accommodate a dining area, lounge, kitchen, bathroom, and a bedroom. It has access to 2 decks, and has large windows which allow natural light. The house also has high and curved ceilings, helping to make the place more spacious.
Just one look at Pager’s property, and you’ll easily remember the Tatooine houses, right?
2. Madrid’s NOEM PreFab Home
This prefabricated spaceship-like house was designed by NOEM. NOEM is a group that wants to build structures that have ‘No Emissions’. They built the property for a client who wanted the construction to be quickly completed. The client also wanted to enjoy the panoramic view of the plot.
They have used polished metal here, which was the choice of the user. The spaceship-like structure also has a large terrace that is oriented to help the client enjoy the view of their surroundings. NOEM has used prefabricated wooden modules, and attached them to a metal frame. The whole property is 4m above the ground, and can be accessed through a restored airplane stairway.
When you take a tour of the house, you’ll easily begin to see the client’s love for the epic saga of Star Wars. You’ll be able to see a wall-mounted panel, which helps bring the house’s facilities together, presiding over a functional interior. The panel allows the client to control the whole house with just one touch. From here, they can easily control the temperature, lighting, access, sound systems, and security. The panel will also let the client change the color of the walls, and set different modes for the exterior lights.
NOEM have constructed the structure from 3 prefabricated modules that were almost complete when they first arrived on the location. The construction only involved the assembly of the prefabricated modules. 1 of the 3 modules contains the facilities and equipment of the structure, and acts as the technological hub of the house. The technology that the house has surely reflects their love of Star Wars.
3. Los Angeles’ Cloud City
The Encyclopedia Britannica formerly called this property "the most modern home built in the world". Malin Residence was first brought to life by John Lautner in 1960, and it was the stereotypical scientific vision of how future homes would look. Cloud City would certainly have one that looks like this structure.
The Malin Residence was built for a young aircraft engineer, Malin Lautner. It was an engineering challenge, because of where it was constructed. The location is on an earthquake-prone area, and on a 45 degree slope. It was popularly known as the “Chemosphere”, because it hovered 30 ft. over Los Angeles, making it look like a structure straight out of Star Wars.
When the site was first given to Lautner, there were two methods of building structures in such terrains. The builders would either build an open framework that would support the structure, or cut the land to create level ground.
However, the biggest problem that Lautner encountered was not the terrain, but the client’s budget. Malin only had a budget of $30,000. Thankfully, Lautner, together with Malin’s imagination, was able to use that to his advantage. Lautner perched the entire property onto one 30 ft. concrete column, and due to this, the surroundings were not disturbed.
The structure has steel struts coming out of the column, which help to support the house. What makes the structure even more amazing than it already, though, is the fact that it doesn’t have any columns inside. The entire roof is supported by the walls themselves.
If you head to the northern area, you’ll find a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. The southern area, on the other hand, boasts a bathroom and 4 bedrooms. When you reach the house’s peak, you’ll find the circular rooflight. The rooflight helps natural light get into the heart of the structure. Under the rooflight, you’ll find a sitting area and a fireplace.
Even with only a singular column supporting the entire structure, it’s still sturdy. This house has withstood storms, hurricanes, floods, and even earthquakes! The structure has a carport at its entrance, which has a window at the top part. You can take a look at the carport through the window. Window openings can be found all over the house, allowing natural light in. The flying saucer-like structure is truly something that even Luke Skywalker would envy.
4. Australia’s Millennium Falcon
If you’re a Star Wars fan, then this mansion in Australia is the dream. The jaw-dropping property looks like a Millenium Falcon spaceship, and sits in a 70-acre tropical rainforest in Queensland.
This one-of-a-kind property was designed by Charles Wright, a renowned architect. His creation is known as Alkira, and has an exclusive tropical beach that you’ll enjoy plunging into. And you’ll surely feel The Force in this house, because it even has its own water and power supply.
The whole structure is an architectural masterpiece. You can enjoy boating on the beach, while watching your house from the distance. The house is up the ground, and shows how function and form can look great together. You’ll absolutely love how the property seamlessly connects with its surroundings, and suits the mild climate of Queensland.
The property has an open air living area, connecting with the five bedroom wings. Each of the bedroom wings protrudes out over the lake, and has Chillagoe marble bathrooms and timber-lined rooms. The kitchen has been designed to be enjoyed by the owner and their visitors.
You can enjoy a dip in the plunge pool, or stroll through the surrounding area. There’s plenty of stunning scenery to see, including the blooming plant life all around you. The property was originally built back in 2011, and won the Queensland Architecture Award in 2014. It’s no wonder why, since the property is as out-of-this-world as the Millenium Falcon!
5. Sandcrawler - South Korea
The Moon Hoon architects were approached by a couple, a pilot and his wife, to build a house that would leave a small physical footprint. And since the pilot had wanted to be an astronaut since he was a child, the architects decided to base the design of the house’s exterior on Star Wars.
If you want to live in a galaxy far, far away, then you’ll surely enjoy this house in South Korea. It’s made with concrete that has beveled grooves, making it look like it came straight out of George Lucas’ epic saga. The house is coloured after the Death Star, has walls sloping outwards, and is rhombus-shaped, like the Jawas’ famous sandcrawlers.
Immediately upon entering the house, you’ll find that the first floor has amenities and living quarters. The second floor is dedicated just to the kids’ playroom. Its windows are horizontally banded, adding further to the spaceship aesthetic of the house. The windows also let clients view the surroundings, and allow the natural light in. What more could you ask for, from a house that even Darth Vader would love, right?
Star Wars Real Estate
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