Billionaire bunkers

hollyhillsAl Corbi’s residence in the Hollywood Hills offers breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles, but it has more in common with NSA headquarters than with the other surrounding contemporary, writes Forbes.

The Corbi family uses biometric recognition software for “keys”, doesn’t fear earthquakes thanks to steel-reinforced concrete caissons that burrow 30 feet into the private hilltop and sleeps easily inside a 230square metres home within a home: a ballistics-proof panic suite that Corbi refers to as a “safe core.”

Paranoia is increasingly commonplace. Futuristic security technologies–many developed for the military but sounding as though they came straight from James Bond’s Q–have made their way into the home, available to deep-pocketed owners whose peace of mind comes from knowing that their sensors can detect and adjust for, say, a person lurking in the bushes a half-mile away.

“If you saw this stuff in a movie you would think it is all made up,” says Corbi, whose fortress-like abode doubles as the demonstration house for his firm, Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments (SAFE).

It’s not hard to see why such cutting-edge technologies would appeal to high-profile homeowners. “We had an assessment done three years ago from a private security company,” says John Paul DeJoria, billionaire founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems. “They said … that every now and again you get a real kook, and what if they came to your home and tried to do something stupid?” Now his main residence has security “similar to that of the White House.”