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British artist Damien Hirst to build 500 eco-homes

February 17, 2012 |  7:21 am

Damien Hirst, one of the world's wealthiest artists, is investing some of his fortune into the development of 500 new eco-houses near his home in North Devon in Britain
Damien Hirst's latest work could turn out larger than the globally coordinated showing of "The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011" that filled 11 Gagosian galleries. And this time, it's all in one place.

One of the world's wealthiest artists is investing some of his fortune (he's said to be worth about $340 million) into the development of 500 new eco-houses near his home in North Devon in Britain. 

The properties are meant to set the standard for Britain's eco-blueprint, featuring green touches such as hidden rooftop wind turbines, photovoltaic solar panels and state-of-the-art insulation.

Architects are aiming to submit a planning application this summer, and the project could break ground as early as next year in an area where Hirst owns 40% of the land.

Representatives for Hirst announced the artist's intent to transform the town in a local planning meeting last week.

Hirst's architect, Mike Rundell, told officials, "As you know, he is a very successful artist and has very high ambitions for this project. He has a horror of building anonymous, lifeless buildings. He wants these houses to be the kind of homes he would want to live in."

Let's just hope the artist-turned-developer steers clear of any diamond-encrusted accents.

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-- Jamie Wetherbe

Photos: Damien Hirst, "The Complete Spot Paintings, 1986-2011"; Credit: Matthew Lloyd / Getty Images

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