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12 Unbelievable Facts About Bill Gates’ House

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.

The one-bedroom, one-bath house is just as high-tech as the main property, and was originally used to test the technology that would later be used in the rest of the main house. Gates wrote much of his book, The Road Ahead, in this comparatively modest guest home.

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.

The exercise facility is not taking into account his 3,900-square-foot pool building. The swimming pool is 17-by-60 feet-long, and has an underground music system. The floor is painted in a fossil motif, and swimmers can dive under a glass wall and emerge outdoors by a terrace. The locker room has four showers and two baths.

9. Artificial Stream With Fish


Outside Gates’ estate is home to a wetland estuary and an artificial stream that were created and devised to solve any runoff issues that the property’s large walls could potentially create. The water is kept constantly stocked with sea-run cutthroat trout and salmon to add to the aesthetic appeal and eco-friendly nature of the property – or perhaps to provide him with a simple-to-reach fishing spot.

8. Excessive Bathing and Dining