Costing $2 billion 27-floor skyscraper – named Antilla is the new home of India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Industries. Featuring an interior space of some 400,000 square feet – equivalent to five football pitches – is modeled on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. It is 550 feet tall.
The Times on Thursday described Antilla as a “soaring monument to the growing chasm dividing India’s rich and poor.”
Antilla, named after the mythical Atlantic island, has three helipads, nine lifts, a cinema, a health club, several “safe” rooms, a garden level and 168 parking spaces.
The ceilings are more than twice as high as normal buildings and the outer walls are sheltered by hydroponically grown plants.
Ready to be occupied by end of the month, the house that took seven years to build, will be occupied by Ambani, his mother, wife Nita Ambani and three children. They will be supported by 600 full-time staff.
Built on a one-acre plot on Altamount Road, The Times described it at least ten times more expensive than any other dwelling in the world.
The Times of India recently reported that Ambani was throwing a mega party on October 28. The newspaper had described the ballroom as “just stunning” with the top floors having a “matchless” view of the Arabian Sea.
The opulence seen, and stunningly displayed by India’s rich and famous, is in sharp contrast to the ground reality in a fast-developing country that is set to grow by more than 8 per cent this year.
With over 800 million Indians – many in urban areas including Mumbai – living on hardly a dollar a day, these gleaming towers have uncomfortable reminders of the ever-widening rich-poor divide.
Forbes reported last month that the only remotely comparable high-rise property is the $70 million triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York that climbs 525 feet in the air.
Over the six stories of parking lots, Forbes reported, Antilla’s living quarters begin at the lobby with nine elevators. No two floors on the 27-storey structure looks alike.
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