Fifth richest man will complete 27-storey, $billion home
With a net worth of $43 billion, Mukesh Ambani (Chairman, Managing Director and largest shareholder of Reliance Industries) can afford to splurge. But with such vast funds, a splurge for Ambani can be record breaking and what better way to spend than to build a home. The Indian businessman is the fifth richest man in the world and has a penchant for the high-life so he has collaborated with architects Busby Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates to construct the world's tallest and most expensive home for himself, his wife and their three children in Mumbai. The family currently live in a 22-storey customised tower in the city but are now aiming higher to build a 27-storey $billion home.
However, last year the Maharashtra Wakf Board, who sold Ambani the 4,532 sq ft plot on Altamount Road, submitted to the Supreme Court a Special Leave Petition (SPL) to claim back the land stating that it was only sold to Ambani in order to build an orphanage. Wakf Boards exist to manage buildings and plots of land which can be used for Muslim or charitable interests. But there were rumours that there was pressure on the Board from those opposed to such a large steel and glass structure in an area of natural beauty and the petition was thrown out on 3 May allowing the construction to continue. The CEO of the Maharashtra Wakf Board, A.R. Shaikh has since been transfered.
While there will be only 27 livable storeys the build will actually surmount to around 60 storeys in height at 550 ft tall and covering 400,000 sq ft of interior space. The rest of the space will be used for attractions and six floors of parking. As the tower is to be used as a family-home and not apartments no two floors are to be the same in either design nor materials used which accounts for the $billion price tag. One example is an extravagant ballroom equipped with LCD display screens, space for art installations and a ceiling encrusted in crystal chandeliers.
The building itself will be an Indian/contemporary blend predominantly built by a local workforce with Indian materials including interior finishings. One of the design's most impressive features will be a four-storey garden area made possible by rebar-enforced beams creating a W-shape allowing an open-air space to be created which will be filled with local plants.
The design also features an entertainment level complete with theatre and a health level with a cooling chamber which is dusted with man-made snow.
The build is well under way and is due for completion in January.
Niki May Young