Let’s not kid ourselves: the world is ending. Doomsday talk is everywhere, but rarely has it been more evident than this year. 2018 began with winter that lasted longer than the one in Game of Thrones and was then chased by earthquakes, floods and murderous heatwaves that assaulted the globe every chance they got. Mother Earth is calling it quits, and we’re still defiant children dancing on a planet of hot coals dressed in single-use plastic.
Nature isn’t the only arena printed with doom. Just look at the international political climate — no further elaboration needed.
Humankind is edging slowly, but surely towards an apocalyptic fiasco, where the fantasies projected unto dystopic movies will soon become everyday life. Call us dramatic, but we aren’t the only ones that are set to gird our loins for planetary collapse. Since the dawn of Trumpism and ascension of artificial intelligence, Silicon Valley moguls are famously preparing for the end of the world by purchasing arms, prep kits, air transport, and above all, fortresses to ensure survival. These military-grade quarters have earned the nickname “billionaire bunkers” because they exist to protect the top one percent should the tsunami of brimstone begin to sweep the world map.
One can’t expect the wealthy to live in spartan apartments, though. Even during the apocalypse, a standard of luxury must be met, and that is what these billionaire bunkers deliver. In true Altered Carbon fashion, these nuclear-ready apartment complexes are equipped with all manner of amenities you’d expect from a five-star hotel because god forbid these contemporary King Solomons be bored.
If you too would like to dive into this obscure property market where the term “plan for the future” is taken to its zenith, then here’s a look at some of these billionaire bunkers. FYI: units selling quick.
Survival Condos, USA
What was once an Atlas Missile Silo in an unnamed site just off Kansas City is now a 15-storey facility that will swaddle the rich from the Armageddon. Larry Hall is the mastermind behind Survival Condos, where units begin at S$4.092 million (but hey, you get a whole floor!). Its nuclear-resistant walls contain amenities like a community swimming pool, indoor shooting range, rock climbing wall, a theatre, and even an aquaponic farm, so there’s truly never a dull day even in the far recesses of our earth.
Survival Condo’s flagship Kansas territory was so popular upon its launch, it is now sold out. Interested parties can look forward to purchasing units in upcoming silos already under renovation.
The Vivos Group is a company set up to design and build billionaire bunkers, which should tell you a lot about the demand for such properties. Its most iconic premise to date is the Vivos Xpoint, a collection of 575 steel and underground bunkers situated in South Dakota.
Vivos Xpoint was initially a US Army Base but is now suburbia for the disaster-fearing super-rich. About 5,000 people can be sheltered in the underground maze, with individual bunkers fitting 24 people comfortably. All units come equipped with supplies to last you for a year, though we’re not sure how you’ll overcome vitamin D scarcity for that long. On top of housing, the Xpoint complex will also have all the essentials one would expect from a small town, including a chapel, a supply store, horse stables and classrooms.
Leases go for S$1,400 a year, purchasable for 99 years, though an S$34,000 payment must be made up front. Survival amidst leather couches and hardwood floors ain’t cheap.
Vivos Europa One
The Vivos Group naturally couldn’t forget their European brethren, so Vivos Europa One was established in Rothenstein, a small German village. The Soviets built the 22,904 square feet shelter during the Cold War to store military equipment, but at the hands of the Group’s designers, it has a become a self-sustaining subterranean playground that can withstand anything between a nuclear blast to an earthquake.
Tenants can choose to design their own space, and include accoutrements like a personal theatre within. For more conservative doomsday avoiders, there are common areas like libraries and pubs for some rest and relaxation around the compound. They don’t call this the “modern-day Noah’s Ark” for nothing.
Private apartments begin at S$3.16 million.
The Glass House
Currently up for sale is The Glass House, a former site in Chislehurst created for the English government to have a place to run the nation should a nuclear blast hit during the Cold War.
What used to be a bunker has now been outfitted as a luxury home with an S$3.8 million price tag that constitutes a pool an atrium. Yes, it is above ground, but the mansion’s five-inch-thick walls can fend off against a substantial blast, so perhaps The Glass House can be considered as a vacation home away from the underground dugouts. One must have options even during an annihilation.
Plus point: the glass A-frame roof lets in natural light, so you have an optimal location for your end-of-the-world #ootds.
Tucked away in Vrátkov, a Czechoslovakian valley is The Oppidum, which claims to be the world’s largest billionaire bunker. The classified location was created by the Soviet Union but has since lain dormant after threats of Cold War mass destruction wore off.
The selling point for The Oppidum is self-sustenance. It claims to be able to house people for 10 years without them needing leave for supplies. You don’t just have food and water lining the complex in droves. When its founders say self-sustaining, they mean The Oppidum is outfitted with entire water purification systems, surgical facilities, and an internal communication network that can reach the world outside.
Two floors comprise the what The Oppidum calls “zone of defences” within the structure. The first is an above ground estate where its tenants can live during times for lesser disasters like epidemics (it’s all a matter of perspective). Then, when sh*t truly hits the veritable fan, occupants can just head through a secret corridor to while away time below ground. All units total 77,500 square feet with four-metre-high ceilings, so spatial constraints are the least of your worries.
Prices are not available for The Oppidum, but we won’t be surprised if it is the most expensive on the list.