By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
As rightly said by Mrs Nita Ambani, Antilia is the quintessential example of a “modern home with an Indian heart”. World's second most expensive private residential property, Antilia is named after the mythic island ‘Antillia’ and is owned by one of the richest men in Asia and the eighteenth richest man of the world (January, Forbes), Mukesh Ambani.
Mukesh Ambani with his wife, Nita Ambani and children, Anant Ambani, Akash Ambani and Isha Ambani live in their palatial abode, Antilia which is located in South Mumbai’s Altamount Road. Antilia is estimated to be world's second most expensive property after London’s prestigious Buckingham Palace. Mukesh and Nita’s heavenly mansion costs an estimated $1-2 billion.
World’s renowned business tycoon, Mukesh Ambani’s breathtaking 27-storey skyscraper reaches 570 feet with over 400,000 square feet of interior space against the Mumbai skyline. Let us take you to the tour and some interesting facts about the world's first billion-dollar home.
Antilia, the finest form of architecture, is designed by Chicago-based architects Perkins and Will, and an Australian-based construction company, Leighton Holdings took the charge of its construction. Every floor of the building is the same height of an average 2-storey building which gives the feel of a 40-storey building. The architectural design of Antilia makes it strong enough to survive an earthquake of 8 on the Richter scale.
The architectural design is based on lotus and sun and the top six floors of Ambani’s home have been set aside as the private full-floor residential area. Antilia comes with a mega-temple, a host of guest suites, lounges, a salon, an ice-cream parlour and a private movie theatre to accommodate 50 people.
Then another six floors are dedicated to cars as Mukesh Ambani has a huge need for speed, including his Rs 5 crore Maybach. In fact, the garage has the capacity to accommodate 168 cars and it has a dedicated car service station on the seventh floor.
Antilia also has 9 high-speed elevators and each of them is assigned to different floors and purpose. Two of the elevators are designated for the parking areas, three for the guest quarters, two of them for the Ambani family residences and two for the service. The lobby of Antilia opens to diverse lounges, reception areas and powder rooms, and it has dual stairways that lead to the ballroom.
The Antilia ballroom is designed in an open layout with a two-story roof and the most astonishing features of the ballroom are the crystal chandeliers that takes up approximately 80% of the ceiling. A kitchen, almost the size of the ballroom, can serve hundreds of guests. The ballroom also has a stage for entertainment purpose or speeches, the silver staircase leads to the central landing behind which the two retractable doors open to the display works of art.
The countless lounges in Antilia offer a quiet escape to the Reliance Industries guests. Chandeliers, finely woven and crafted Indian rugs and opulently crafted mirrors are the common features of the traditional lounges at Ambanis. For the modern lounge, the furniture, floors, lines and dark woods give it more of a minimalistic approach than other lounges in Antilia.
Ambani’s have a full-fledged theatre in Antilia which includes a wine room, a snack bar and couches and tables to fill up the room. And to beat the grimy Mumbai summer, Ambani’s have a snow room in their mansion, to beat the heat, in which the walls spit out man-made snowflakes. The outdoor level features a lap pool with lounge chairs shaded by trees and Jacuzzi that take in views of the city skyline. And the interior space is filled with yoga and dance studios, changing rooms for men and women, gyms, spas and a solarium with a juice bar.
The top floor of Antilia includes a covered and an outdoor entertaining space with the panoramic views of the Mumbai skyline as well as the Arabian Sea. The most jaw-dropping feature of Antilia is that it has three helipads on the terrace along with an air space floor.
Antilia requires more than 600 full-time staff members to maintain this flawless mansion. Surprisingly, the Ambanis are vegetarian and teetotalers, so the meals are pure vegetarian and alcohol-free. The wine is only served during the cocktail hours.
This house of Mukesh Ambani has a 4-storey open atrium of gardens, flowers and lawns. The environment-friendly garden includes the hanging hydroponic plants and the fixed trees which are energy-saving devices. They absorb the sunlight and in turn keep the indoors cool in summers and warm in winters. These hydroponically grown plants limit the need for air-conditioning. Antilia also has a huge temple and has large statues of Hindu gods Ganesha and Shiva. No two floors in Antilia are the same.
The magazine, Vanity Fair gave a sneak peek of Antilia in their June 2012 edition and an interview with Nita Ambani. The magazine was quoted as:
"The closed door policy has only piqued the worldwide fascination that has surrounded the edifice."
Contrary to the speculations of Ambani’s not shifting to Antilia because it did not conform to the ancient Indian architectural doctrine of 'Vastu Shastra', Nita stated that they moved into the house in September 2011. Talking about Antilia, she said:
"This is the first time I am talking about my home. There have been exaggerated reports in the media about it I must say. We moved in two months ago. And then it was going around that we have not moved in. It is a modern home with an Indian heart...It is the only home that we have in the world."
Nita Ambani said that their house, Antilia is based on the theme of sun and lotus, and exquisite materials like rare woods, marble, mother of pearl and crystal were used to craft the shapes of the lotus and the sun in the building. The family quarters at the top of the high-rise to let in plenty of sunlight. Nita Ambani stated:
“We made our home right at the top because we wanted the sunlight. So, it is an elevated house on top of a garden."
Just like any other doting wife, Nita also keeps the track of her kitchen expenditures and romantically waits for her loving husband "with candles lit and supper ready" to come back home late from the office which is typically around 11 at night. Nita shared:
"I like to have everything smiley and happy for my husband. Men don't want to see a grumpy face at the end of a hard day."
For the king living in a peninsular city, Mumbai where the area is in short supply, there is nowhere to go but up and up just like the Ambanis. Though the wealth of this kind is a fantasy for some, unreal for others, it is real for the Ambanis. Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani created a history with their "modern home with an Indian heart", Antilia.
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