Airbnb launches a new division that will begin testing its own prototype homes by 2019

Airbnb adds architect to its resume with its new project called “Backyard,” an urban planning project that will test the distribution of its own prototype homes by 2019.


November 30, 2018

Fast Company reports that Airbnb will begin building its own prototype homes as soon as next year to accommodate the needs of people who rent and share living spaces.

Airbnb will start building and distributing its own prototype homes through the new project, called Backyard, as early as next year. And they’re not just talking about adding guest houses to people’s yards, they’re thinking much bigger.

Own the bnb, own the market

The company already created a home-sharing revolution by establishing a global network of more than 5m homes, castles, and insulated caves (probably) for rent, with its business estimated to be worth $38B

Apparently, that wasn’t good enough.

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In 2016, Airbnb’s chief product officer and co-founder Joe Gebbia started a futures division at the company called Samara to develop new products and services including “green building materials, stand-alone houses, and multi-unit complexes.”

Sky’s the limit

Backyard hasn’t shared a ton of details about what exactly it will build first, but Gebbia has offered hints in the past saying the units will be adaptable to each occupant’s specific needs rather than one, prefabricated model. 

If successful, Backyard could very well fast-track Airbnb’s home-rental marketplace by adding “real estate developer” to its resume, as cities continue to restrict the company’s short-term rentals.

As far as the cost of one of these bad boys, well, Gebbia says it’s too early to tell. So… expensive.

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