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How does Bill Gates, the world's richest person, live? It shouldn't be surprising that this business magnate's life is beyond understanding of normal people, and his house has to be insanely extravagant. You can tweak your imagination to all levels to form a warren of possibilities of mind-blowing facts about his Medina mansion. Here we've rounded up 16 of the most over-the-top features about his house.
This massive 66,000-square-foot estate is located in Washington State, overlooking Lake Washington. It's named Xanadu 2.0 after the fictional home of Charles Foster Kane, the title character of the movie "Citizen Kane." The property even has its own page on Wikipedia.
There's a total of 6 kitchens inside the estate. The formal dining room is 1,000 square foot, large enough to seat up to 24 people. The 2,300-square-foot reception hall can host a cocktail party for 200 or a dinner party for 150 guests.
The "Pacific Lodge" style house is partially built into the hill it sits on, which is called earth sheltering. Apart from looking really cool, this helps reduce heat loss and maintain a steady climate more efficiently and eco-friendly.
Every visitor gets assigned a pin that interacts with sensors located in each room of the house. Each pin has a set of preferences including music choices, lighting selections, and temperature control. You can change the settings to cater you while moving throughout the house.
The 1,900 square foot guest house is almost hidden underground and was the first finished building on the property. It's a mini version of the main house and was used to test the technology that was designed for the main house. Gates wrote much of this in his book "The Road Ahead".
The house has $80,000 worth computer screen combos run by storage devices worth $150,000. You can call out the name of a painting on these special screens, and the devices will retrieve the images. The artwork on the walls famously changes with the push of a button.
The 17 by 60 foot pool located in its own 3,900-square-foot building is equipped with an underwater music system. A glass wall separates the pool from an outside terrace, and you can swim under it to go outside and on the terrace. There's also an adjacent locker room with four showers and two baths.
The 1,500 square foot home theater is designed in an Art Deco style, with comfy chairs and couches to seat 20 people, and even a popcorn machine for snacking.
The 900-square-foot building was moved to sit next to Gates' sports court via barge. In fact, a total of three houses have been relocated via barge to make room for the new house. Just imagine what was paid to make this incredible thing happen!
The 2,100-square-foot library has two secret pivoting bookcases, one with a hidden bar.
On the domed ceiling a quote from "The Great Gatsby" is engraved: "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." The library features Leonardo da Vinci's manuscript Codex Leicester that Gates bought at auction for $30.8 million in 1994.
Gates has his own private beach and his own piece of the Caribbean right in his backyard. His beach contains sand that's not normal Washington State lakefront sand. It's delivered from St. Lucia in the Caribbean in large quantities by a barge each year.
Gates created an artificial stream and wetland estuary to solve problems with the foundation and the runoff water caused by the property's large retaining walls. The water comes fully stocked with salmon and sea run cutthroat trout.
Gates is very fond of a 40-year-old maple tree that stands close to his property's driveway. This tree is so beloved that it's electronically monitored 24/7, 365 days a year by computer. If at any point it becomes too dry, water is automatically pumped into it to make sure it grows well.
Gates has an incredible 2,500 square foot gym which includes a sauna, steam room, plus separate men's and women's locker rooms. One of the coolest things about the grand gym is its trampoline room with 20 ft high ceilings. What a fun alternative to your standard exercise routine.
Microsoft holds an auction each year, where employees have a chance to bid on products and services, and the proceeds go to the company's charity. Gates once donated private tours of Xanadu 2.0, and an employee won the tour with a bid of $35,000.
The mansion cost Gates 7 years and $63 million to build with 500-year old Douglas fir timbers. 300 construction workers, with 100 of them being electricians, labored on the home. It's now worth $150 million, and Gates pays around $1 million in property taxes each year.