In New York, the BBC tells us, “Chana and Simon Taub, both 57, have endured two years of divorce negotiations, but neither is prepared to give up their Brooklyn home. Now a white partition wall has been built through the heart of the house to keep the pair apart.”
Incredibly, a New York City judge actually “ordered that the partition wall be built.”
[Image: “A white drywall partition, in background at left, separates Simon Taub from Chana Taub in their Brooklyn home.” Via MSNBC].
I’m reminded of a few things, architecturally, including the Berlin Wall, the Israeli Wall, and House VI by Peter Eisenman. House VI, for instance, came complete with “a linear notch in the bedroom floor that prevented the [homeowners] from sleeping in the same bed.” Eisenman’s design, then, was a triumph of “antagonistic space planning” that put architecture itself front and center in the story of a marriage.
In any case, the Taubs’ new marital wall “divides the ground floor of the house, and keeps husband and wife penned into separate sections on different floors. One door linking the rival sections of the house is barricaded shut to prevent any accidental contact between the pair.”
Perhaps there’s even a business model to be found in this story somewhere: you graduate from Princeton into a stagnant economy, unable to find work at any architecture firms…
So you start your own company, called Partition, and you specialize in home renovations for broken families: you add security walls and panic rooms; you seal entire wings off and install surveillance cameras above certain doorways; you add spy holes and thin layers of lead to block cellphone communication. You redirect the plumbing.
Finding great success in this line of work, you decide to produce a new series of reality TV shows in which perfectly healthy, loving families move into such structures, in a fake suburb erected somewhere in Glendale. You and the rest of the world then watch as each family descends into a state of catatonic rage and emotional abandonment, the spouses sexually blackmailing one another.
Peter Eisenman soon offers you a job…