Millionaire Basement Wars

2015 ,    »  -   12 Comments
Ratings: 7.66/10 from 56 users.

Even viewers who revel in witnessing the luxurious lifestyles of the outrageously wealthy may be surprised to discover the latest trend currently sweeping the home design industry in London. For those with a sizeable pocketbook and a bit of imagination, home expansion is no longer just relegated to stacking floors or building vertical add-ons. The super-wealthy are multiplying their square footage by constructing meccas of extravagance in the ground below their existing properties. Millionaire Basement Wars provides an inside glimpse into this escalating movement of underground palaces, and reports on the persistent agitations it has inspired amongst neighbors and city council members.

These aren't your typical basement dwellings. These opulent accommodations offer a new brand of exclusivity and privacy, and oftentimes greater splendor and accessories than their above-ground counterparts. Think high-vaulted ceilings, wall to wall swimming pools, generously spacious wine storage, cascading waterfalls, five-car garages, and lavishly plush screening rooms. From a financial standpoint, a below-ground living space can potentially double the value of a property. The trend has also accelerated a boom in the industries of architecture and construction.

"But living alongside the building of basement perfection," warns the narrator of the film, "can feel like a nightmare for neighbors." Many of the region's most historically significant homes are prohibited from altering existing properties by adding square footage above or off to the side. But no such regulations exist to restrict the construction of underground expansions. Beyond the usual burdens of deafening dump trucks and demolition vehicles, these basement excavations rock the very foundation of a property, and resulting aftershocks, damage and debris are often experienced by residents nearby. In some cases, this foundational manipulation can make nearby housing structures dangerously unstable. "It's a disruption to my own existence," complains one neighbor. "It's a complete lifestyle change where you have no life. It demands an injunction!"

The endlessly entertaining Millionaire Basement Wars shines a light through the cracks which exist behind the gleaming, polished dream of domesticated luxury. In the process, it gives voice to an interesting conundrum: the rising conflicts between the value of neighborhood living and the actual quality of life there.

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12 Comments / User Reviews

  1. oQ

    This doc should fuel the craze to take off in the US for those rich people who hadn't thought about it yet.

  2. dmxi
  3. dmxi

    they should pad the walls to contain their lunacy!we don't want them hurting their soft heads,do we now?

  4. a_no_n
  5. a_no_n

    Meanwhile, most people can barely hold on to their jobs.

    I'm not a communist...but sometimes you have to sit and wonder if maybe they had a point.

  6. Fabien L'Amour
  7. Fabien L'Amour

    Finally some justice in this world, the rich won the battle against the richer! :P

  8. TheDanishViking
  9. TheDanishViking

    Great documentary. Very entertaining.

  10. robert elliot
  11. robert elliot

    They definitely had a point, however it's a fundamentally materialistic philosophy and the problem is materialism itself, IMO. Modern physics is validating what the ancient Hindus were onto 4000 years ago - that the material word is an illusion (albeit, a persistent one, as Einstein remarked). Consciousness is what it's all about.

  12. robert elliot
  13. robert elliot

    Brings to mind the moive "Martyrs" and what went on in that particular underground extension.

  14. sisterchef
  15. sisterchef

    in the US there's far more space to build mansions.. they don't need to dig down seeing as their mansions are big enough. It's a different kind of building history. The US doesn't have rows and rows and rows of protected homes that the rich want to buy. London, like Tokyo and Monaco have limited space.. everyone builds up.. except these homes are protected. It's a particular situation that rarely happens anywhere else in the world...

  16. Sammy Ri
  17. Sammy Ri

    Stinks of the unscrupulous burying there I'll gotten gains!

  18. Kansas Devil
  19. Kansas Devil

    I imagine people weho9 foolishly decided to move into a housing association neighborhood might be inspired to build down since cosmetics would not be a concern.
    Ah, the trials and tribulations of a first world people.

  20. chris
  21. chris

    The Plutocracy extending their houses deeper into the 'underworld'. Instructively symbolic.

  22. ElaineMDG
  23. ElaineMDG

    And here in the US, I'd be thrilled just to have a decent place to live...unfortunately, at my age, my luck and hope of a "future" have just about run out.

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