Head in the clouds?

India's richest man completes world's first $billion home in South Mumbai

by Sian 25 October 2010


How would you design your home if money was no object? Well, Mukesh Ambani - the Chairman and Managing Director of textile company Reliance Industries and India's richest man - was faced with this very question several years ago. Working with Chicago-based architects Perkins + Will and interior design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates, Ambani has now completed a staggering $billion home for himself, his wife and their three children.

Located on Altamount Road in South Mumbai, the 400,000 sq ft residence rests on a plot of only 4,532 sq ft. At around 60 storeys in height, the ‘Antilia' (allegedly named after a mythical island in the Atlantic) only boasts 27 storeys of livable space, the rest retained for attractions and parking for over 160 vehicles.

Alongside the anticipated private cinemas and ballrooms that seem to be the fashion in every extravagant mansion of the moment, Ambani's private skyscraper has also been reported to feature a health level with ‘cooling chamber dusted with man-made snow', three helipads and air traffic control facilities. A staff of 600 is also on hand to tend to the needs of the family and keep the building in working order.

Renderings of the design show exotic green foliage encasing the building to conceal sections of the steel and glass façade, however recent photographic images show these are yet to appear in full bloom. Critics of the building have labeled Ambani ‘the dumbest richest person in our century' and his new home ‘disturbingly ugly', however these claims have been countered by those reminding us that ‘that's another 600 people with a job feeding their families'.

Unnecessary extravagance or welcome indulgence? Let us know what you think...


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