Architect Resigns from Billionaire’s ‘Psychological Experiment’

Charles Munger isn’t as well-known as Warren Buffett, for whom he has lengthy served as right-hand man on the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate.

However the 97-year-old, just like the Oracle of Omaha, is a Nebraska native, a billionaire in his personal proper, and a prodigious philanthropist.

He’s additionally, apparently, one thing of an beginner architect. And his passion and his monetary largesse have mixed to spark controversy in his adopted Southern California residence.

5 years in the past, Munger introduced he would donate $200 million towards a brand new constructing to alleviate a housing crunch on the College of California-Santa Barbara — on the situation that his blueprints be adopted precisely.

Particulars weren’t disclosed on the time, however they’re obtainable now: the $1.5 billion Munger Corridor can be the biggest dormitory on this planet, an 11-story block that may home as much as 4,500 college students in small, single-occupancy rooms — the overwhelming majority with out home windows.

The college, in line with the Santa Barbara Unbiased, described “Charlie’s Imaginative and prescient” as one during which college students can be inspired to go away their tiny rooms and mingle with others within the constructing’s widespread areas.

However skilled architects contend that the proposed advanced would have an unknown and doubtlessly dangerous affect on UCSB undergraduates.

The undertaking’s consulting architect, Dennis McFadden, resigned in a scathing letter during which he referred to as the proposal “a social and psychological experiment” that ignores ample proof of the advantages of pure gentle and views.

McFadden additionally instructed that the plans have been endorsed and not using a vote from a college assessment panel, and famous that the constructing would seem “alien” on the Santa Barbara campus — arguably probably the most picturesque on Earth. He wrote that he couldn’t assist Munger Corridor as “as an architect, a mum or dad, and a human being.”

College officers indicated in a presentation earlier this yr that they anticipate the brand new dorm will open to college students within the fall of 2025.

What do you think?


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