Elon Musk wanted to build a house that looked like it 'fell out of space,' new book reveals

Elon Musk wanted to build a house that looked like it 'fell out of space,' new book reveals
  • Elon Musk bought a horse farm in Texas near Tesla's Gigafactory, author Walter Isaacson wrote.

  • The biographer said Musk envisioned a house that looked like "something fell out of space."

  • The Wall Street Journal has reported Musk was building a glass house, but he has denied the reports.

Elon Musk — who famously sold his houses and vowed to "own no home" — has discussed plans to build a mega house in Texas, Walter Isaacson said in his biography on the billionaire.

The biographer, who shadowed Musk for three years, said the Tesla CEO bought a horse farm near the Colorado River and Tesla's Austin Gigafactory. Isaacson said that Musk considered buying a house in Austin, but decided that doing so would cost too much and began coming up with ideas for building his own home instead.

Musk discussed ideas for the project during the summer of 2022 with Norman Foster, a well known British architect who helped design Apple's headquarters for Steve Jobs, according to Isaacson's book.


"It should be like something fell out of space, like a structure from another galaxy landed in the lake," Musk told Foster, according to the book. Foster didn't immediately return a request for comment from Insider.

Musk described a building that would look like "a shard of glass coming out of the lake" on the horse farm, the book said. The billionaire also discussed having his infrastructure venture, The Boring Company, create a tunnel from the house, under the Colorado River that would make the house accessible from Tesla's nearby factory, Isaacson wrote.

The project — which Musk has "put off building," according to Isaacson — appears to be similar to recent reporting from The Wall Street Journal, which said that Tesla had launched an internal probe into a series of purchases that were internally believed to involve building a glass house for Musk. The project appeared to be for a "dramatic glass-walled building" and concept plans showed differing designs and features, but included residential elements like bedrooms, according to the report.

Architect Norman Foster speaks at a podium
Famous architect Norman Foster was approached to build an Elon Musk home, biographer Walter Isaacson wrote. He also designed Apple's iconic headquarters in California, along with a host of other famous buildings.Foc Kan/WireImage/Getty Images

The project drew scrutiny last year within the company after an order for a special kind of glass was made as part of the building-planning efforts. At the time, the internal inquiry into the order had targeted Omead Afshar, an executive leading Tesla's Texas factory, Bloomberg reported last year. In Isaacson's book, he says Musk brought Afshar and music artist and onetime girlfriend Grimes to the horse farm to come up with ideas for a house.

More recently, the Journal reported, citing unidentified people it said were familiar with the matter, that the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission had launched probes into the Tesla purchases. It can be illegal to use company funds for personal expenses — especially when dealing with a publicly traded company. If a public company were found to have used company funds for an executive's personal use it could lead to an IRS investigation and lawsuits from shareholders.

Musk has denied the Journal's reporting via X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter. "I'm not building a house of any kind, let alone a glass one!" he said on the social media site.

grimes musk
Elon Musk is said to have brought Grimes, his onetime girlfriend, to Texas to come up for ideas for a house on a horse farm he bought in Texas, biographer Walter Isaacson says in a new book. They're pictured in 2018.Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

It's unclear whether Musk's apparent plans that were detailed in Isaacson's book are still in progress or are related to the reported Tesla project. Musk, Isaacson, and a spokesperson for Tesla did not respond to a request for comment ahead of publication.

Isaacson said Musk was motivated to look into building a house in order to create a central home for his ever-expanding family. Musk has 11 known living children.

"One thing I've been harassing him about, lovingly, is finding a place he can call home," Shivon Zilis, the mother of two of his children and a director at his brain-chip startup, told Isaacson. "He needs a place where his sole resides and that's what the horse farm will be for him." Zilis hasn't returned a request for comment from Insider made by LinkedIn direct message.

In 2020, Musk announced that he was "selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house" to help finance his plans to one day colonize Mars. Weeks later, five of his homes were listed for sale on Zillow. Musk sold his last house for $30 million in 2021 after he said he'd begun renting a house in Texas from SpaceX that cost $50,000.

Insider previously reported that a Boxabl prefabricated house called a "Casita" had been delivered to SpaceX. At the time, Musk denied living in the modular house, saying that he lives in a different small house in Texas. In July 2022, he said on a podcast that he owns a Boxabl and uses it as a guest house.

In August, Isaacson shared a photo of what he said was Musk's modest pre-fabricated house. The billionaire is also known to frequently couch surf with some of his billionaire buddies and sleep at Tesla or X offices.

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