Lumuhuku

Arbitary Obsessionist's Blog : Ambition is redundant. In life, mission is everything.

World’s Most Expensive Home – Antilia

with 4 comments

The most expensive home. Yes. That’s the sobriquet that Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani’s new address Antilia has earned itself.

So what is the cost of such a costly project, an eye popping $ 2 billion !!!! The only remotely comparable high-rise property currently on the market is the 70 million dollar triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York, designed to resemble a French chateau, and climbing 525 feet in the air. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries and ranking within the top 5 on Forbes’ list of the world’s richest people – with an estimated fortune of $43 billion can definitely afford to do it. 😉 

 

The plan, drawn up by the firm Perkins+Will, reveals that the house will resemble a virtual glass palace, with entertainment centres, a health club, a swimming pool and various green spots thrown in for good measure. According to the plan, the house will rise to a height of 173.12 meters, equivalent to that of a regular 60-storeyed residential building. However, Antilia will have only 27 storeys in all, which means each floor will have a ceiling considerably higher than the current average of nearly three meters.

Six floors for parking
The first six floors – which have come up – will be reserved for parking alone, and that too for cars belonging only to Mukesh’s family. Space for a total of 168 ‘imported’ cars has been earmarked here.

Floor for car maintenance
Sources said the Ambanis would prefer to have all their cars serviced and maintained at an in-house service centre. This centre will be set up on the seventh floor.

Entertainment floor
The eighth floor will have an entertainment centre comprising a mini-theatre with a seating capacity of 50.

Balconies with gardens
The rooftop of the mini-theatre will serve as a garden, and immediately above that, three more balconies with terrace gardens will be independent floors.

The ‘health’ floors
While the ninth floor will a ‘refuge’ floor – meant to be used for rescue in emergencies – two floors above that will be set aside for ‘health.’ One of these will have facilities for athletics and a swimming pool, while the other will have a health club complete with the latest gym equipment. . Each family member has a separate gym.

For guests
There will be a two-storeyed glass-fronted apartment for the Ambani family’s guests above the health floors. One more refuge floor and one floor for mechanical works will be built on top of these apartments.

Family
The four floors at the top, that will provide a view of the Arabian Sea and a superb view of the city’s skyline, will be for Mukesh, his wife Neeta, their three children and Mukesh’s mother Kokilaben.

Air space floor
According to the plan, two floors above the family’s residence will be set aside as maintenance areas, and on top of that will be an “air space floor,” which will act as a control room for helicopters landing on the helipad above.

Helipad
The plan states that three helipads are to be built on the terrace.

Staff
Nearly 600 staffers are expected to work full-time in the building, sources said.

Where possible, the designers say, whether it’s for the silver railings, magnificent crystal chandeliers, woven area rugs or steel support beams, the Ambanis are using Indian companies, contractors, craftsmen and materials firms.

Elements of Indian culture juxtapose newer designs. For example, the sinks in a lounge extending off the entertainment level, which features a 65 seat movie theater and wine room, are shaped like ginkgo leaves (native to India) with the stem extending to the faucet to guide the water into the basin.

No two floors are alike in either plans or materials used. If a metal, wood or crystal is part of the ninth-floor design, it shouldn’t be used on the eleventh floor, for example. The idea is to blend styles and architectural elements so spaces give the feel of consistency, but without repetition.

Atop six stories of parking lots, Antilia’s living quarters begin at a lobby with nine elevators, as well as several storage rooms and lounges. Down dual stairways with silver-covered railings is a large ballroom with 80% of its ceiling covered in crystal chandeliers. It features a retractable showcase for pieces of art, a mount of LCD monitors and embedded speakers, as well as stages for entertainment. The hall opens to an indoor/outdoor bar, green rooms, powder rooms and allows access to a nearby “entourage room” for security guards and assistants to relax.

Gardens, whether hanging hydroponic plants, or fixed trees, are a critical part of the building’s exterior adornment but also serve a purpose: The plants act as an energy-saving device by absorbing sunlight, thus deflecting it from the living spaces and making it easier to keep the interior cool in summer and warm in winter. An internal core space on the garden level contains entertaining rooms and balconies that clear the tree line and offer views of downtown Mumbai. The 27-story building is eco-friendly, with hydroponically grown plants cooling the building and filtering its air, limiting the need for air-conditioning. With vertical gardens, you can use the whole wall almost like a tree and increase the green area of the site by five or 10 times over what it would be if you just did a green roof.

Antilia’s shape is based on Vaastu, an Indian tradition much like Feng Shui that is said to move energy beneficially through the building by strategically placing materials, rooms and objects. At Antilia, the overall plan is based on the square, which is Vaastu’s basic geometric unit, and a garden level occupies the tower’s midsection, the point where all energies converge according to the Vaastu Purusha Mandala.

However, all of this has not been without its share of controversies. Antilia is being built on land sold to Ambanis’ to be used as orphanage by Waqf Board. The land measuring 11793 sq yards was sold in 2004 by the trust for a charitable purpose of looking after the destitutes and orphan children belonging to the Khoja Mohammedan community. The land was given to the Maharashtra State Board of Waqf by Jivagi Raje Scindia in 1957. The MoU was signed with four companies namely Antilia Commercials, Sapphire Realtors, Rockline Constructions and Baun Foundation trust.

The Waqf Board has told the Supreme Court that it sold the property thinking it was to be used for an orphanage and that commercial buildings are not allowed on Waqf land. Property having a market value of Rs 400 crore was sold only for Rs 21.05 crores to M/s Antilia Commercial, a company of Reliance group of Industries. Rs 16 crores were also paid to Waqf Board for No Objection Certificate.

Critics have also said that showing off such extravagant wealth in a country rife with poverty is insensitive and ethically questionable. This is excessive and ostentatious given that more than 65 percent of Mumbai’s 18 million residents live in tenements.

Now I am not a critic, but I really feel that this is one of the stupidest decision taken by ‘ever-so-shrewd’ Mr. Mukesh Ambani. Just 6 people plan staying in this 27 floored  ‘new age wonder’. Mukesh Ambani with his wife Neeta, their three kids and Mukesh’s mother Kokilaben, are the ones. And nearly 600 people would attend to the six in the family! Now what sense does it make? Just a way to show off your wealth. That’s all I feel.

Reliance shareholders! Beware! All this show off is being paid by you.

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4 Responses

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  1. ya…mukesh shudnt hv wastd our muny like this…

    raj etzel

    September 5, 2008 at 2:03 pm

  2. Wonderful information, I will come back soon..

    Agosywots

    May 20, 2009 at 11:48 pm

  3. WTF!
    Raj Etzel … whose money? since when is a billionaire’s money ours?

    Also by doing this, he is brining a lot of business to the Indian markets (All materials are india made) .. he is atleast giving a 3-4 year construction contract and jobs to many .. he is hiring 600 employees .. so he has put in more jobs…which at the end yields to a little lavishness on Mukesh’s part but wth … he still is thinking about the society.. think about the 60% of people living in the slums of Mumbai … quite a few of them will gain employment because of this … why is everyone overlooking this aspect?

    It will nearly take 50-75 lakhs a month to run this “establishmet” so he is definitely giving back to the socitey … but in a little bit of class.. Also, this is/will be one of the biggest homes ever
    built in the world … which also brings fame to the country.. why don’t we look at it that way?

    I think we really ought to look into a story completely before passing on such judgements….

    Sam

    August 5, 2009 at 8:08 pm

  4. This is just a way of wasting money & show-off of wealth.

    Vishal

    July 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm


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