Warren Buffett’s second in command Charlie Munger is sponsoring the new dormitory at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
However, his $200 million donation comes alongside a condition— his design has to be used. According to it, 94% of all single occupancy rooms in the dorm are in the interior of the massive building and have no windows.
A Consulting Architect Resigns From His Post as a Form of Protest Toward the University’s Design Review Committee
In his resignation letter, California architect Dennis McFadden issued a statement that he finds the new dorm design unsupportable from his perspective as an architect, a parent, and a human being.
Further criticizing the project, he mentioned that Munger Hall (the name of the planned dorm) doesn’t utilize the fact that the UCSB’s campus is located on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean and has its own beach. In his opinion, even the rooftop courtyard is designed poorly- it looks inward.
McFadden concluded the letter saying that the new building is a sociological and psychological experiment with an unknown impact.
The 11-Story Building Should Provide Beds for More Than 4,500 Students
The new building should help reduce the overcrowding problem UCSB is facing by housing 4,500 students. They would live in a building where every level would have eight 63-student-strong “houses.” It is uncertain how these living conditions may impact college campus safety statistics.
Every house should have eight suites, and every suite has eight single occupancy beds, two bathrooms, and shared space. Shared spaces are the only rooms with windows. The intention was to encourage students to spend time interacting in the common area instead of staying in their rooms.
Munger Is an Amateur Architect and Was Involved in Designing the New Dorm
The project was designed by Navy Banvard, a principal architect at Van Tilburg, Banvard, & Soderbergh. He stated that Munger Hall is a collaborative process between UCSB, Munger, and the design team.
Charlie Munger is vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate that owns hundreds of companies, including GEICO, Duracell, Dairy Queen, BNSF.