When FTX was planning its headquarters in the Bahamas, the architects were asked to make it resemble Sam Bankman-Fried’s characteristic hairdo, according to Michael Lewis’ biography.
The crypto company had paid $4.5 million for about five acres of land on which it hoped to build a “mini city,” but the architects struggled to understand exactly what FTX wanted, according to Lewis’ book: “Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon.”
Lewis writes that the two architects, Ian Rosenfield and Alfia White, were given “several hundred million dollars” and told to “have at it.”
Given little direction from executives, the pair observed FTX employees in the “makeshift jungle huts” they were working from and asked them what they wanted for the new offices.
That brought up one anecdote about a doorway that FTX spent $1 million moving before the architects received a list of three ideas they were told were from Bankman-Fried.
The FTX founder apparently wanted the building to be shaped like an F, have a plinth to showcase a tungsten cube that he bought for $250,000, and for the side of the building to “evoke his unruly hair,” Lewis wrote.
Then the architects found out the list wasn’t even from Bankman-Fried, but somebody else at FTX who tried to imagine what he might want, and Bankman-Fried knew nothing about it, per the biography
The campus was never actually constructed ultimately, but there was a groundbreaking ceremony in April 2022.
The plans included two hotel towers, offices, and an athletics center, according to The Nassau Guardian, which reported it cost $60 million.
Before Bankman-Fried gave a speech, Rosenfield asked him how much of the plans the FTX founder had seen. “I’ve seen nothing,” he replied, per the biography. He added that he planned to “wing” the speech.
After the ceremony, Rosenfield finally managed to ask Bankman-Fried what one thing he wanted at the headquarters, aside from work purposes. His answer was badminton courts, according to the book.
“That was the first and only question we got to ask him,” Rosenfield told Lewis.
Bankman-Fried’s spokesperson declined to comment.
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