Berkshire Hathaway Vice President Charlie Munger has seen waves of criticism in recent days over the design of a future $ 1.5 billion dormitory building which he has helped plan and will partly fund for the ‘University of California at Santa Barbara.
But the 97-year-old billionaire known as Warren Buffett’s “right-hand man” dismisses all skeptics.
Munger is committed to making much of the change to the project – some $ 200 million – and has spent years collaborating with architects and university leaders on the building’s design modeled after a similar existing dormitory that ‘he helped design and fund for the University of Michigan.
Much of the criticism stems from the fact that 94% of the dormitory’s 4,500 rooms will not have windows.
The hubbub came after a longtime university consultant, architect Dennis McFadden, resigned from the dormitory design, saying in a letter to school officials that the design of the upcoming “Munger Hall as where students live is unbearable from my perspective as an architect, parent and human being. “
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Critics then came out of the woods, with negative reporting, a wave of online cynicism and a Los Angeles Times editorial that said design “takes the stupid and multiplies it by a willful ignorance factor squared.”
Munger, for his part, has been a staunch defender of the project and his role in it, pushing back opponents and remaining unabashedly determined to see it through. The university too.
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The billionaire told USA Today he was well qualified to help design the building after building his first million apartments and has since built several homes for himself and his family members. He said he expects Munger Hall to be a role model for other dorms not only at UCSB but on campuses across the country.
Munger went on to tell Architectural Digest that McFadden “reacted with his instincts like an idiot” and “didn’t look at the building intelligently.” He added: “Anyone who sees the models is laughing at them.”
Asked about all the backlash on the design, Munger told the publication, “I’m surprised at how little controversy there is. Architects never agree on anything.”
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UCSB Chancellor Henry Tang called Munger’s design “inspired and groundbreaking.” a Costco in the resort.
When asked by MarketWatch if billionaires are too influential, Munger replied, “You have to get used to the fact that billionaires are not the most popular people in our society,” adding, “I’d rather be a billionaire and not be loved. of everyone than not having money. “