Bill Gates is the richest man in the world - again. He has held the title many, many times, but according to a March 2015 article by Forbes, he is once again on top, with a net worth of $79.2 billion. When you take that number into consideration, his Medina, Washington home, which overlooks Lake Washington, is frugal.
His home, affectionately nicknamed Xanadu 2.0 as an homage to the fictional house of Citizen Kane’s Charles Foster Kane, took Gates seven years and $63 million to build. To us, that’s ludicrous; to him, chump change. It’s crazy when you realize that $63 million isn’t even 0.1% of his overall wealth. That’s one way to try and fathom a “billion” dollars.
And yet, it really comes as no surprise. Gates is one of the most philanthropically minded individuals on the planet. And even with its “modest” price, Xanadu 2.0 is one of the most technologically advanced houses that the world has seen. But this should come as no surprise from the man behind Microsoft. Here are 15 crazy facts about Bill Gates’ 66,000-square-foot estate.
12 “Earth-Sheltered Home”
Much of Gates’ enormous residence is “earth-sheltered,” meaning that it is buried into the hillside and surrounded by towering trees. These natural surroundings are used as walls to regulate temperatures efficiently, and to reduce heat loss. 500-year-old Douglas fir beams support the stainless-steel roof, which is surrounded by walls of concrete, stone, and glass. So even though the property is equal to 1.5 acres in size, it is still green and eco-friendly. Looking west from the lakefront side of the house, he has a great view of Seattle.
11 Guest House Fit For a King
The 1,900-square-foot guest house was the first building on the property to be completed (in 1992). It was built in a “French Provincial” style by architect Peter Bohlin of the organization Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (as was the rest of the house), and was built nearly underground.
10 Exercise is Important
Xanadu 2.0's exercise facility is better equipped than most health clubs. It is 2,500-square-feet, includes a sauna, a steam room, separate men’s and women’s locker rooms, and a separate trampoline room with a 20-foot ceiling. We can’t confirm if there’s actually a trampoline in the room, but some say that the floor itself is a trampoline.
9 Artificial Stream With Fish
8 Excessive Bathing and Dining
7 High-Value Commodity
6 Expensive Touring
5 Personalized Bat Cave
What do Bill Gates and Bruce Wayne have in common? They’re both billionaire entrepreneurs with their own self-stylized bat caves. Bill Gates may not have a Batmobile (we can neither confirm nor deny this statement), but he does have three separate garages which can house a total of 23 cars.
4 High-Tech Climate Control
3 More Hidden Tech
Bill Gates is a man who just loves hidden, cryptic things. He has a hidden guest house, a hidden garage/bat cave, and more. One of the most fascinating and tech-savvy uses of this “hidden agenda,” is this: there are speakers that are hidden beneath the wallpaper of the rooms, which allows music to follow guests from room to room. We’re assuming the song choices are input onto the microchip pin that all guests receive when entering the house.
2 Customizable Artwork
1 The Library of Alexandria
The personal library of Bill Gates’ Medina estate is perhaps the coolest part of the whole property. It is a 2,100-square-foot, domed room, ornately paneled with a classic flavor. The reading room has a light well and fireplace, and it even has two secret, pivoting bookcases (who hasn’t always wanted one of those?!).
Behind one of the bookcases is a hidden bar (see: more hidden stuff). Somewhere in this library is the home of Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century notebook, the Codex Leicester. Bill Gates bought the priceless notebook on scientific writings at a 1994 auction, for $30.8 million (that’s nearly half as much as his entire house cost to create).
And finally, perhaps most fittingly, Gates had a quote from The Great Gatsby etched into the ceiling of the library, which reads: “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”
Sources: Seattle.curbed.com, BusinessInsider.com, Money.USNews.com
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