The World’s Most Expensive House

Monday, 10th January 2011 by

Perhaps proving that money can’t buy taste, an Indian billionaire will soon occupy what is being described as the world’s most expensive house. Antilia1 is estimated to have cost up to $70million (US) to construct2 and manages to squeeze 27 totally incongruous floors into a 173m tower which could accommodate sixty conventional storeys.

Located in Mumbai, India’s most densely populated city, Antilia was constructed for Mukesh Ambani – the world’s fifth-richest person with an estimated wealth of $43bn.

While you might expect that such a large building (over 37,000 square metres of living space) might be intended to accommodate an extended family, Ambani will live there with just 5 other people – his wife, three children, and his mother. Their every whim will be catered to by a staff of around 600 people!

The residential floors were designed such that each is totally different from the others, as can clearly be seen from the exterior.

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Many of the features of this residence are just staggering:

  • Parking space for around 170 vehicles.
  • The roof has a helipad with space for three helicopters, and its own air traffic control.
  • Nine elevators lead to the private residences, multiple gyms, pools and spas and a 50-seat theatre.
  • There is also a ballroom with a ceiling lined with crystal chandeliers, the latest audio and video technology, and a separate room where security personnel accompanying VIPs can relax.
  • Three floors of hanging gardens will offer peaceful respite from Mumbai’s heat.
  • However, if they really need to cool off, residents and guests can pop into a room filled with artificial snow!

While we don’t have Street View to give us a closer look, Google Earth does allow us to go back in time and see a number of images of Antilia’s construction over the past few years.

Construction of this ostentatious abode hasn’t been without controversy, perhaps understandably in a city where millions of people live in abject poverty.

The tower stands on land that was intended for construction of an orphanage. A modest legal payment took care of this inconvenience. The helipad on the roof also contravenes city and naval regulations, but this doesn’t seem to stopped it from being put in place.

You can read more about Antilia at Wikipedia, while this blog post has much more detail and a number of pictures of the interior.

  1. The building was named after a mythical Atlantic island

  2. NOT the $1billion+ originally mentioned here, and as is widely reported elsewhere. See discussion in comments below.