Bill Gates' 66,000 Sq Ft Mansion Features A Trampoline Room And 24 Bathrooms — But Was Dubbed A 'Nightmare' For Ex-Wife Melinda

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Bill Gates' Xanadu 2.0 mansion is often hailed as a technological marvel, but it was a different story for his ex-wife Melinda Gates. 

While the 66,000-square-foot estate on the shores of Lake Washington is filled with cutting-edge features that reflect Gates' visionary approach to technology, it became known as a ‘nightmare' for Melinda.

Xanadu 2.0 epitomizes privacy and luxury on a vast estate initially secured for $14 million. The property, enhanced with an investment of $63 million, is now valued at approximately $130 million, according to Fortune. Architects James Cutler and Peter Bohlin, alongside interior designer Thierry Despont, crafted a mansion that blends a Pacific lodge aesthetic with cutting-edge technology. 

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The mansion boasts a sophisticated server system and top-tier security measures. Personalized environment settings are enabled for guests via pin-like devices, adjusting temperature, lighting, and music to their preferences. Floors are fitted with sensors that detect the presence of anyone without a pin. Walls are equipped with screens displaying photos, paintings, and high-end art. Even Gates' favorite 40-year-old maple tree is monitored by computer, receiving water automatically if it becomes too dry.

Adding to its grandeur, the mansion includes a trampoline room with a 20-foot ceiling, six kitchens, an indoor pool, a theater with a popcorn machine, seven bedrooms, and 24 bathrooms, which seems excessive for a family home. It can also accommodate 150 people for a sit-down dinner party.

Despite the impressiveness, Melinda Gates had a different perspective. In a 2008 profile in Fortune magazine, the mansion was described as "a bachelor's dream and a bride's nightmare." The overwhelming presence of technology made her feel like she was living inside a video game. Melinda reportedly had creative differences with Bill and even halted construction.

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"Having a hundred workmen there gave her the message, ‘This is what your life is going to be like,'" Bill recalled. Melinda shared her concerns with him, saying, "If I do move in, it's going to be like I want it to be — our house where we have our family life."

The couple married on Jan. 1, 1994, in a small ceremony on the Hawaiian island of Lana’i. Afterward, Melinda experienced "a mini personal crisis" over the house that Bill was building. She hired a new architect to redesign the space, creating intimate areas, an office for herself, and staff quarters out of sight.

"Every day I want to hear one thing you like about this house," Bill used to tell her. Melinda would respond, "Okay, I like the laundry chute. Or, here's what I like and 10 things I don't like."

Despite their efforts to make Xanadu 2.0 a shared home; the mansion's high-tech environment and the relentless construction overwhelmed Melinda. The couple moved in before construction was finished, which may have compounded the stress.

Xanadu 2.0 is a testament to Bill Gates' love for technology and innovation. However, its construction and design reveal the complexities of balancing personal and professional life, even for one of the world's most influential couples at the time. 

While the mansion remains a marvel of modern technology, it also reminds us that even the most advanced homes need to feel like homes.

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