News of Bill and Melinda Gates’ divorce bounced around the world this week, raising a series of questions: What, why? And the foundation? Is it too early to ask Melinda to star in a reality show with Mackenzie Scott? And of course, what will happen to that hulking house?

(Answers: We don’t know; they will continue as co-chairs of the charitable foundation of the same name; it’s not too soon, and we don’t know yet.)

The Gates’ mansion, called Xanadu 2.0, is a true luxury palace. The sprawling 6,000-square-foot complex sits on Lake Washington in the Seattle area, in the same pampered neighborhood of the home of super-wealthy Jeff Bezos. The house is estimated to be worth more than $ 130 million.

Welcome to Xanadu 2.0: The 6,000-square-foot Gates mansion in Medina, Washington, photographed in 2000.

The couple have kept details about the home private, but visitor testimonials and media reports over the years have given the world a glimpse of what the inside of some of the people’s home looks like. richest on the planet.

There are unsurprising luxuries you might expect to find on such a property – a 20-car garage is built into the hillside, according to an article by The New York Times from 1995. The 18 meter indoor / outdoor pool has its own underwater music system. There is a trampoline room. A 230 square meter gym. An art-deco movie theater. Each room has touch panel controlled lighting, music and climate controls.

There is a confusing ratio of bedroom to bathroom. The house has only seven bedrooms but 24 bathrooms. 24!

The sand on the lakeside beach was reportedly brought in from Hawaii, according to an intern who saw the house in 2007. Microsoft released the intern’s report of a visit to the mansion for a barbecue. “The whole house is built from this beautiful orange wood,” they wrote. “The landscape is just madness.”

There are actually 24 bathrooms in their 7 bedroom home.

Spokesmen for the Gates did not respond to requests for comment about the house or who could get it in the separation. But it seems unlikely that Melinda will fight for it.

Bill began construction on the property before the couple met. Melinda wasn’t thrilled with her at first. “If I move,” he recalled telling Bill in a 2008 interview with the magazine Fortune, “It will be as I want it to be: our home where we have our family life.”

He hired a new architect to redesign it to his liking. But years later, it still seemed a bit awkward from the size of the house.

“We won’t have that house forever,” Melinda told The New York Times in 2019. “In fact, I’m looking forward to the day when Bill and I live in a 140-square-meter house, the house was being built before I came on the scene. But I take responsibility.”

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