India’s richest and world’s fourth richest man, industrialist Mukesh Ambani, has built what is claimed as the world’s first billion-dollar home – a 27-storey luxury residence in Mumbai.
The chairman of Reliance Industries, whom Forbes magazine forecast to be the world’s richest person by 2014, is all set to move into his mansion, named Antilia, after a mythical island in the Atlantic, by the end of this month.
Constructed in Mumbai’s downtown Altamount Road, the palatial building Antilia is a twenty-seven floor (560 ft or 173 m) building that took seven years to complete. It is situated on a 4,532 square metres (48,780 sq ft) plot at Altamount Road on the famed Cumballa (Malabar) Hill South Mumbai, India, where land prices are upward of US$10,000 per square meter. The skyscraper has a whopping five football pitches of floor space.
The first six levels of the glass tower, which stands about 174 metres, has a garage where more than 160 cars can be parked and has nine elevators, the reports said.
On the top floors of the house, with a sweeping view of the city and out over the Arabian Sea, are quarters for the 53-year- old tycoon and his family of four. The family will occupy about 400,000 square feet, making it the largest home in the world.
Towering above the Mumbai skyline, the 37,000sq ft tower is grander than the Palace of Versailles in France. To keep things running smoothly, there is a full-time staff of 600.
It is designed by Chicago architects, Perkins & Will and is inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. The Melbourne-based construction company Leighton Holdings began constructing it but it has been finished by another company.
The skyscraper will have 3 helipads including air traffic control area on the top floor. The building is equipped with amenities such as a health spa, and small theatre with a seating capacity for 50 on the eighth floor. Other features include multiple swimming pools, three floors of hanging gardens, and a ballroom. Included in the tower are six floors of parking – the seventh floor is for in-house vehicle maintenance. It has been reported in the media to have a current extrapolated value at between US$1 billion and $2 billion, making it the most valuable residential building in the world. Reliance, however, said it cost U$50-70 million.
The 53-year-old industrialist is expected to move into his palatial home with his wife Nita Ambani and his three children Akash, Anant and Isha later this month.
Let’s take a quick tour of Mukesh Ambani’s new home:
1. The palatial Antilia
2. Nine elevators dot the lobby floor: Two are designated for parking areas, three for guest quarters, two for the Ambani family residences and two for service. The lobby opens to numerous lounges, reception areas and powder rooms. Dual stairways lead from the lobby floor down to the ballroom, which is designed in an open layout with a two-story roof.
3. Ballroom : The most striking features of the Antilla ballroom are the crystal chandeliers that will take up approximately 80% of the ceiling. The silver stairways lead to a central landing, behind which two retractable doors can open to display works of art. There is also a stage for entertainment or speeches, with a projection screen behind it. A kitchen, about the same size as the ballroom itself, can service hundreds of guests.
4. Bathroom : One of Antilla’s key design themes is the mix of lavish features seen in worldwide homes and elements that are distinctly Indian. The Gingko-leaf sink designs are a good example. Native to India, the leaves in the sinks are shaped in such a way that their stems guide water into the bowl created by the basket of the leaf.
5. Traditional Lounge : Ambani’s home features countless lounges, offering Reliance Industries guests a quiet escape. Chandeliers and mirrors are a common feature of these rooms, as are finely woven Indian area rugs.
6. Modern Lounge : Each space and floor uses materials not seen anywhere else. The idea is that spaces will blend into one another, giving the impression of consistency and flow, while at the same time displaying different influences and traditions. This furniture, floors, lines and dark woods of this lounge have a more minimalistic approach than the home’s other lounges.
7. Entertainment Level : It’s very common in large homes to have a theater or screening room, but usually they’re just large projection screens with a few nice seats. The Ambani’s theater is more like those seen in George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch or Frank Pritt’s Portabello Estate–a full-fledged theater, indistinguishable from a cinema. A wine room, snack bar and entertaining space, including couches and tables, fill out the room. This is a detail from a floor plan rendering.
8. Health Level : The indoor/outdoor health level features a lap pool and Jacuzzi that take in views of the city skyline, as well as lounge chairs shaded by trees. Yoga and dance studios, changing rooms for men and women, gyms and a solarium with a juice bar fill out the interior space. There are plans to include an ice room in the center space, where the Ambanis could sit on a hot Mumbai day to cool off in a man-made snow flurry. This is a detail from a floor plan rendering.
9. Garage : The first six floors of the residence will be dedicated to parking for the Ambani family, guests and employees. Hanging vertical gardens dot the exterior. While they make for good decoration, their key function has to do with energy efficiency: The hydroponic plants, grown in liquid nutrient solutions instead of soil, lower the energy footprint of the home by absorbing heat and sunlight and providing shade that helps keep it cool.
10. Roof : The top floor features a covered, outdoor entertaining space with panoramic views of the Mumbai skyline as well as the Arabian Sea. On those days when it’s too hot, or cold, an interior space with floor-to-ceiling windows provides the same luxury.
Is this class or sheer arrogance? You decide!