Warren Buffett's partner Charlie Munger donates millions to colleges. They just have to let him play architect.

  • Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner, has donated millions of dollars to fund college buildings and other institutions.
  • Schools just have to let him weigh in on his big ideas about architecture, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
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Charlie Munger is passionate about architecture.

So much so that when he makes donations towards university buildings, the schools have to accept his big ideas about the very way they’re designed.

That’s according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that dissected the 95-year-old billionaire’s “side gig” of designing various parts of colleges like dorm rooms and bathrooms, and trash-talking traditional architectural ideas.

“Any time you go to a football game or a function there’s a huge line outside the women’s bathroom. Who doesn’t know that they pee in a different way than the men?” Munger told the newspaper during a nearly six-hour-long interview at his home in California, which he designed in 1959.

“What kind of idiot would make the men’s bathroom and the women’s bathroom the same size? The answer is, a normal architect!”

Munger, Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner at Berkshire Hathaway, has donated “hundreds of millions of dollars” to institutions in recent years, The Wall Street Journal said. He usually chooses to fund schools that he or his family members have attended.

The paper pointed to ventures like a graduate dormitory at the University of Michigan that was built with a $US110 million infusion from Munger, and a $US200 million donation to the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Munger, for his part, studied mathematics at Michigan, meteorology at the California Institute of Technology, and earned a law degree from Harvard.

He told The Journal that conventional architecture is “massively stupid,” adding that “architects don’t love me.”

“Either I change architects, or he does it my way,” he said.

Jim De Matté, the chief of campus operations and construction at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where Munger has designed several buildings, is particularly taken by Munger’s eye for design.

“He can see into the future,” De Matté told The Wall Street Journal. “I don’t know how he does it.”

Munger designed Harvard-Westlake’s middle school library, which opened 11 years ago, and insisted on making the walls “removable.”

Munger and Buffett are scheduled to host Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholder meeting on Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s story here.


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