Charlie Munger’s Passion for Building Design

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I first came to learn about Charlie Munger 30-plus years ago. Mr. Munger served as Warren Buffet’s vice chairman at Berkshire Hathaway. I read a book that Charlie wrote in 2004 called “Damn Right,” and I was very entertained by his blunt style and observations of many different businesses and their leadership styles. I was surprised last week when the Wall Street Journal had an article about Charlie Munger and his passion for building design. The article has a funny picture of Charlie (who is now 95) riding his wheelchair around a construction site. A gotcha line in the first paragraph describes Charlie as a great benefactor to many institutions, but it comes with a caveat: Schools that want his money must accept his ideas about building design, too.

Charlie comes out swinging by stating, “Architects don’t love me.” Mr. Munger has been an admirer of architecture since designing his own home in Los Angeles in 1959. Even though he has never had any training in architecture or read a book about the subject, it hasn’t stopped him from spending hours a day on architectural drawings. At his age and with failing vision, he still wants to review designs and talk to friends about new ideas. One of his passions in design for schools is to coax students into common spaces and learn from each other.

Mr. Munger has given $110M to the University of Michigan for fellowships and the Munger graduate dorms, where most of the bedrooms lack windows. He also mentioned that in designing bathrooms at stadiums, it is ridiculous that there are huge lines outside the women’s room! The final project mentioned in the article is about a $200M donation to UC Santa Barbara for a residence hotel that he thinks will get mentioned as one of the best designs ever. Since he has the money and ideas, Charlie gets people to listen to him.

Let us know how we can help you with your Revit designs as you build new dorms and bring modern space to students and others. eVolve MEP software can reduce rework and make coordination among all parties more efficient – bringing projects in on time and on budget.

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