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“Prenuptial housing”: houses that literally break up if you do

By August 4, 2016No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

Wouldn’t it be handy if, once you’ve decided to break up, your house simply followed suit, with no need for either partner to move?

Architects in the Netherlands have come up with a unique new design for a house that can separate if a couple does.  Designed to make breakups less of an upheaval, separating partners could simply disengage their half of the house and both could continue living in their own discrete, fully-functional separate abode.

Of course, it helps if your prenuptial house exists on water and can simply float away from your ex’s half. The “floating house” is designed for Amsterdam’s canal boat population and consists of two autonomous units that appear to be one. The independent structures, made of light carbon fibre and timber components which are able to float, “slot together in a Tetris-like formation to form a home for a couple”. A simple connecting mechanism allows the two parts of the building to disengage and float apart if the couple decides to split.

Architects Studio OBA say of their prenuptial housing design:

“When couples feel they are drifting apart, the house initiates a ‘break up’ by detaching the two units, which then go solo on the water. Due to the way we designed it, the house responds to the flow of the relationship: when all is well, the house remains a unity. But when couples separate, the house – literally – drifts apart as well. And how nice would it be if separate units would one day reconnect again when a new relationship blossoms?”

So when you split, you could conceivably take your half of the house and join it up to someone else’s half house elsewhere, one day.

The designers say their concept helps “stabilise the home front during an otherwise very hectic time”, and saves partners having to relocate after a breakup.

The team is working on a prototype to test user-friendliness and performance and has plans to take orders for prenuptial housing early next year. The design is expected to be popular in Belgium, Portugal and Hungary where divorce rates are among the highest in the world.

It remains to be seen if a similar separating design can be designed for homes on land as well!


Separating or divorcing and need legal advice? Please call Cristina Huesch or one of our solicitors on (02) 6223 2400. Our first no-obligation half-hour conference is free.


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