While a 27-story, two billion-dollar house for six people in the most poverty-stricken area of India might seem a tad bit extravagant to most, the richest man in India and sixth richest in the world, Mukesh Ambani, seems to have missed the memo. And that’s precisely why there is a towering skyscraper called Antilia that reaches 550 feet with over 400,000 square feet of interior space against the Mumbai skyline.
The opulent residence that completed a four-year construction process in early 2010, was designed by American based architects on 48,000 square feet of land in downtown South Mumbai.
In its initial days, and even after its completion, the ostentatious display horrified Indian residents. Considering more than half live on $2 a day, and Antilia overlooks an overcrowded slum, it’s not hard to see why.
Miracles inside Antilia
Despite the national outcry, the house, dubbed Antilia after the mystical city of Atlantis, stands today.
The lowest levels – all six of them – are parking lots with space enough for 168 cars. Above that, and easily accessible via a lobby with nine elevators, the living quarters begin.
There are several lounge rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, each adorned with dangling chandeliers. Also on offer is the large ballroom, with 80 percent of its ceiling covered in crystal chandeliers that opens out to a large bar, green rooms, powder rooms and “entourage room” for security guards and assistants to relax.
The house also boasts of a helipad with an air traffic control facility, multiple swimming pools, a small theatre and health spa/yoga studio, an ice room with man-made snow, and a conference/unwind room on the topmost floor with a panoramic view of the Arabian Sea.
Rounding off the opulence, the final four levels of the complex are solely devoted to hanging gardens. These gardens point to the complexes eco-friendly status, acting as an energy-saving device by absorbing sunlight, and deflecting it from the living spaces insulating the area.