Inside Kanye West’s Vision for the Future
this global starchitect-level creative exchange evolved out of Kanye’s total overhaul with Silvestrin of his New York City apartment (completed in 2007), as well as his five-year collaboration with Vervoordt on the recently completed Kardashian-West family home in Hidden Hills. In 2016, before that project finished, West encountered the work of Turrell and had an epiphany: “We need to build a home,” he remembers saying, “where every room is a Turrell.” Which eventually took him to the artist’s epic land-art masterpiece in the cone of an extinct volcano near Flagstaff, Arizona, called Roden Crater. From there, West began to conceptualize a new kind of totally sustainable dome-shaped dwelling, complete with massive podlike rooms within the larger dome, the notable absence of corners and stairs, and an oculus open to the sky. Once West is satisfied with the new architectural language he is establishing, the design can be modulated and built anywhere—but the first completed dome will almost surely be built in Cody or Calabasas.
The majority of the drawings that I see during my time with West largely focus on massive single-family dome dwellings, although he is also developing a multifamily version—a retreat center, if you will, which will bring guests to West Lake Ranch to experience life inside the domes as well as performances by the Sunday Service Choir. “We see 100,000 students singing these compositions,” West tells me. “A circular 100,000-person amphitheater.” The Yeezy Season 8 clothes that he recently showed in Paris, meanwhile, are “servicewear” garments intended to be worn by the eventual Yeezy campus staff—cooks, nannies, housekeepers, etc.
“There’s a big sustainability aspect,” Walters says of the entire project.
Malek Alqadi, Yeezy architect, have just arrived at the ranch from the office in downtown Cody, where West has bought just under 12 acres of commercial property and is developing a Yeezy factory for his sneaker partnership with Adidas, which reportedly did around $1.5 billion in revenue in 2019 alone. Walters and Alqadi are carrying the morning’s drawings on printouts and tracing paper. “Kanye talks a lot about how our spaces are so cluttered,” Walters continues. “What does all this stuff mean for our mental health? How different would we be if we were in spaces where we could actually think and focus and be clear?” The next day, while sitting in his personal cabin, West will tell me, “I’m trying out a different cure than medication. Fresh air. Fun. Inspiration. Space.”