A man’s home is his castle, but what if a well-secured moat isn’t feasible? In luxury homes, the moat has been transformed into built-in panic rooms. These custom safe rooms are expensive (costing upward of $100,000) and can feature closed-circuit TV, weapons, meals ready to eat, and external phone lines.
In papers submitted to the Palo Alto, California planning department, Mark Zuckerberg intends to build four new houses to replace the existing homes on his new properties. The plans for one of those houses, sounds more like a panic house versus a standard house.
A Los Angeles 23,000 square foot mega-mansion sold in 2015 and owned by country music legend Kenny Rogers included a safe room and state-of-the-art security system.
Although when most of us envision these spaces we immediately think of the movie “Panic Room” where Jodie Foster and her on-screen daughter hunker down in a cold metal encasement. Real life panic rooms are in full view, and are more five-star retreat than cinder block fallout shelter.
Oftentimes these spaces masquerade/double as bathrooms, bedrooms, and even closets. This West Village townhouse previously owned by a Hollywood star features an 8-foot-by-12-foot bulletproof safe room inside the third-floor master bedroom.
Villa Sorriso happens to be the estate of the late Robin Williams. The 20,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-style main house sits on 654 acres marked by olive trees, vineyards, and riding trails. The main house features three safe rooms, which will come in handy if dastardly wine thieves somehow make it on to the property.
These luxury panic rooms are discreetly hidden behind fine finishes but they are still built with cinder block, steel plates and Kevlar sheets. Safe-bedrooms are outfitted with bulletproof windows, ballistic fiberglass to secure doors against explosions, an air filtration unit to protect against a gas attack, and a panic button, all of which create an area impenetrable as a traditional safe room but considerably more comfortable. “It becomes a competition at dinner parties,” says Jill Kargman, writer and star of TV’s Odd Mom Out and an Upper East Side native.
The interior of this 11,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-style house was designed by Juan Pablo Molyneux, a Chilean maximalist decorator. The five-bedroom home features gold flake detailing, a patio and fountain featuring handmade Portuguese tile, antique fireplaces, and a Kevlar-lined safe room.
The real estate industry is enjoying the boom in this growing trend. Even if the buyer is not specifically looking for a home with a safe room, it’s certainly a bonus. They are being used to store jewelry, antique guns, or as a renter’s closet for seasonal residences.
Looking for a safe room of your own? Creative Home Engineering located in Gilbert, Arizona is your local go-to source specializing in secret passageways. Started by an ex-Boeing engineer, the company custom-crafts clandestine entrances that double as bookcases, wardrobes, or walls. With a client list consisting of business executives, celebrities, professional athletes, government officials, and even heads of state they have some 500 secret passageway systems installed in homes and businesses around the world.