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Over the past few years, Robert Downey Jr. has become the biggest name in Hollywood. Tony Stark of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has amassed a $300 million fortune. Just like his larger-than-life character, RDJ is known for his lavish lifestyle and multi-million dollar investments. As a co-founder of Footprint Coalition along with his wife Susan Downey, he became a venture capitalist to offer grants for sustainable technology. This venture capital business was inspired by the 7-acre homestead he purchased in 2009 for $13.4 million in Malibu, California. The land was stacked with solar-generated water systems and wind turbines.
It took several years to bring the land to life with an eco-friendly dome-shaped home that featured futuristic architecture like never seen before. The ‘Binishell’ took a lot of planning and is considered a sublime experience in architecture. With no straight lines or rectangular rooms, the home is as retro as it is modern. Here’s a glimpse at how Robert Downey Jr.’s one-of-a-kind mansion is genuinely unique.
An Experimental Domicile
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Robert and Susan had plans to buy a beachside Malibu home; however, they were enamored by the 7-acre estate that already featured a 1970s retro home. Italian Architect Nicolò Bini created the dome shape by using concrete-covered inflatables for the house and 20th-century Utopian design for the interior.
The unconventional structure looks like a three-headed turtle shell from the aerial view. The free-form structure was referenced from the geodesic domes, womb rooms, and shelters used in the hippie culture during the 1960s and 70s. The home features a radical design with a touch of retro.
A seven-year passion project, the construction was backed by Mike Grosswendt from All Coast Construction, who finished the shell exterior and assisted in getting the approval of the coastal and city commission. While the couple may have a sprawling net worth, the project was done under a budget with the focus on the greenest and cheapest solutions.
A Dramatic Style And Design
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Along with Mike Grosswendt, the interior was finished by architect Ben Goodman of Goodman Architecture and interior designer Joe Nahem from Fox-Nahem Design, who also designed Robert Downey Jr’s Hampton’s Windmill home.
The entrance features pale blue doors and porthole windows. Additionally, there are multiple skylights and unstructured windows. The dining table is equipped with a bead facade that is the main attraction in the kitchen. The beads are customized by a Mexican artist and made from fiberglass.
Besides the kitchen, the area has two bedrooms with separate terraces. The rooms feature eclectic lighting that casts geometric shadows across every space for a unique look. The rooms are designed in soothing shades of pale blue and blush, respectively.
The one-story home is original in every way, as each dome is of a different size. While the house is on a single floor, the dome house has several sunken rooms, including Susan Downey’s primary workspace. The office walls are made from recycled structures, and the room features a mid-century interior with a blob-shaped window.
The Entertainment area of the house is designed with a foldable garage door so that the room could become a separate screening room or an extended living room. The couple added a hanging nest designed by South African artist Porky Hefer called ‘Human Nest’ made from leather and woven rope for the kids’ playroom.
A Futuristic Bubble
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On the outside, the dome-shaped guesthouse features several amenities for relaxing family time. The property has a vast pool and sun loungers on the deck. Along with a tennis and basketball court, there is ample space for storing the massive car collection owned by Robert Downey Jr. that ranges from a $75,000 Audi eTron GT Concept to restored cars from the 1960s.
The yard features a dystopian fountain that is a punctured oil drum with a Mickey Mouse perched on top, wearing a gas mask. A Los Angeles-based artist, Bill Barminski, created the fountain. It is considered a tribute to Walt Disney’s contribution during the Cold War. Another sculpture that adorns the space is a multi-colored metal structure of dancing figures by late artist Keith Haring worth $300,000.
The other important feature of the Downey mansion is the petting zoo located not far from the Dom House. There are several farm animals housed at the estate. The couple first bought a pair of pygmy goats in 2010, which four alpacas followed. Currently, the farm features several Galloway cows and Kunekune pigs, 26 chickens, and 2 Lionhead rabbits.
To incorporate sustainable energy into their homes and positively impact the environment, the Downeys took significant steps to contribute to those factors. Underneath the lush trees and drought-resistant shrubs and grasses, this humble abode is the future of eco-friendly homes and architecture.
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Sources: The Purist Online, The Richest, The Sun, People.
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