Billionaire Charlie Munger, 97, who is Warren Buffett’s right-hand man in the Berkshire Hathaway group of holding companies, donated $ 200 million to build a student residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara campus.
However, with one caveat. Since Munger considers himself to be a kind of “amateur architect” with no formal education, the university should use his design ideas for construction.
According to Munger, in an 11-story dormitory for 4,500 students, the vast majority of rooms will not have windows. Instead of the natural light emanating from them, young people will have to settle for views from “virtual windows” – like those found in the unopened cabins of some cruise ships. “If you want, you can dim the lights and make the setting more romantic,” says Munger. – Where else can you “replace” the sun? And in this hostel it is possible. “
Architect Dennis McFadden, who advises the university’s dorm design committee, refused to work with the committee in protest. “The basic concept of the design proposed by Munger cannot be supported from my position as an architect, as a parent and as a person,” the outraged architect wrote in a letter sent to the commission. McFadden pointed out in a letter that the dormitory will be “ranked eighth in the world in population density,” and called it “more of a psychological experiment than a living space.”
However, Munger rejected criticism in numerous interviews. “I’m not surprised that someone might ask, ‘What does all this mean?’ – declared Munger. “And I’ll answer that it’s better than any other alternative.”
A university spokesperson said Munger’s design would be given the green light, and rector Henry Young called it “inspirational and revolutionary.”
A strange “psychological experiment”