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The Rs 4,500-crore house

Today, Mukesh Ambani, 53, India’s richest man and the world’s fourth-richest with a net worth of $ 27 billion (Rs 1,21,500 crore), is scheduled to move into his new family home, Antillia.

business Updated: Oct 16, 2010 22:15 IST
Samrat

Today, Mukesh Ambani, 53, India’s richest man and the world’s fourth-richest with a net worth of $ 27 billion (Rs 1,21,500 crore), is scheduled to move into his new family home, Antillia.

At an estimated cost of over $1 billion (Rs 4,500 crore), it’s billed as the world’s most expensive home. Ambani, who heads Reliance Industries, will live in this house with his wife Nita and children Akash, Anant and Isha, and possibly mother Kokilaben. Of the children, two study in US universities.

The house, named after a mythical island, is located in South Mumbai’s Altamount Road, and is 27 storeys tall. However, being Mukesh Ambani’s house, some of its storeys are about twice the height of a normal floor in a normal building. The building stands 570 feet tall. Hanging gardens grown in liquid nutrients instead of soil dot the exterior.
Antillia’s first six floors are reportedly dedicated to parking for the family, their guests and employees. There are nine elevators on the lobby floor. Two are for parking areas, two for the family’s residences, and two for service. The building will have a staff of 600. The lobby opens to numerous lounges, reception areas and powder rooms. Dual stairways lead from the lobby floor to the ballroom.

The most striking feature of the ballroom are the crystal chandeliers that will take up approximately 80 per cent of the ceiling. Sliver stairways lead to a central landing. There is also a stage for entertainment or speeches. The bathrooms have a gingko leaf theme. The décor is described as a mix of ‘Asian contemporary’ and traditional. No two successive floors have the same theme.

The building has an entertainment level with a full-fledged theatre that can seat 48 people, and accompanying wine room and snack bar. An indoor-outdoor health level has a lap pool and Jacuzzi, yoga and dance studios, and gyms. Plans originally included a solarium; it’s unclear whether this was finally built.

The top floor is an entertaining space, with a panoramic view of the Mumbai skyline and the Arabian Sea. The building has three helipads and its own air traffic control.
The elder Ambani sibling has always been known as less flamboyant than his marathon-running brother Anil. The pomp of the new house is therefore being viewed with some surprise. However people who have worked with him say Mukesh Ambani has always been known for the grand scale of his projects.

“Perhaps he has been stung by his portrayal in the media as an introvert. Maybe he is making the point that he is a tycoon in his own right,” Hamish McDonald, author of Ambani and Sons, was quoted in London’s The Guardian newspaper as saying.
Ambani is likely to leave that, and the details of his home, to speculation. A veil of secrecy surrounds the building. Calls to people about his house ended with the phone being slammed down.