• 07.13.16

The House Divorce Built

This floating home breaks up as fast as your relationship (and can get back together just as quickly).

The House Divorce Built
[All Images: via Studio OBA]

It’s a fact of life that people fall in and out of love. Around 40% to 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, and it’s rarely a clean break. Studio OBA, an architecture firm based in Amsterdam, wants to make one part of that process a little less painful: splitting up property. The firm’s prefab Prenuptual Housing concept, developed in tandem with Omar Kbiri, an entrepreneur and marketing specialist, is a single house that splits in two.


Recognizing that many people live on floating homes along Amsterdam’s canals, Studio OBA took advantage of the maritime setting and created a lightweight timber and carbon-fiber structure that’s composed of two sections that can drift apart and function as two separate houses when necessary. While the house is still in its conceptual phases, the architects plan to build a prototype, and Kbiri aims to begin taking orders for the prefabs in 2017.

“We can stabilize the home front during an otherwise very hectic time,” Kbiri told Dezeen. “With this concept you namely don’t need to relocate after a breakup.”

In the past, architects have experimented with the notion of living spaces designed for after a relationship sours. Considering the volatility of housing markets–both rentals and sales–it just makes sense to create a design that can accommodate the complex realities of human partnerships. Additionally, the design would work for families: Parents of the boomerang generation could finally get their kids out of the nest by splintering off their half of the house.

While making a clean break is sure to entice some people to the design, those intent on a “happily ever after” ending take note: The two halves can rejoin into a single structure whenever the couple wants.

About the author

Diana Budds is a New York–based writer covering design and the built environment.