Thursday, October 21, 2010

First-ever $1bn home: Indian tycoon prepares to move into 27-storey sky palace (and it's just for his family of FOUR)











This is the extravagant £630m ($1bn) home built by a billionaire Indian tycoon to house his family-of-four in Mumbai. With 27 storeys, Antilia will be home to Mukesh Ambani and features a health club with a gym and dance studio, a ballroom, at least one swimming pool and a 50-seater cinema. Towering above the Mumbai skyline, the 37,000sq ft property is 570ft high and also boasts three helipads on its roof, space for 160 vehicles on its lower floors and nine lifts.


Glitz and glamour: Crystal chandeliers take up most of the ceiling at this ballroom. There is also a stage for entertainers and a kitchen which can serve hundreds of guests



Mr Ambani, 53, who owns much of oil, retail and bio-technology comglomerate Reliance Industries, paid £44million to build his dream property, but astronomical property values in the Indian city mean it is now worth 15 times that amount. He will employ 600 staff at the property and his family will live in the top floors, where they will enjoy views of the Arabian Sea.


Mr Ambani has surprised many by constructing Antilia - named after a mythical island - as he built his business reputation as a private individual who avoided the flamboyance of India's ultra-rich. Hamish McDonald, author of a history of the family business Ambani and Sons, told The Guardian: '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.'


Numerous powder rooms and reception areas lead off the lobby which has nine elevators. Each floor uses different materials to give a differing look. The vast building is constructed from glass, steel and tiles and also features a four-storey hanging garden which is designed to keep the interior cooler in summer and warmer in the winter.


According to Forbes magazine, Mr Ambani is worth £18billion. He is the richest man in India and the fourth richest in the world. The interior of the property, on Altamount Road, has been designed by a U.S. firm and has been described as 'Asian contemporary'. Mr Ambani will hold a house warming party at his new home later this month.


Among guests is India's prime minister Manmohan Singh, who has previously called on business tycoons to be 'role models of moderation'. Shiny Varghese, deputy editor of Indian magazine Design Today, said: 'It's so obscenely lavish that I'm not sure too many people will go all that way, but we are heading into the sort of culture where money is not a question when setting up a home.' But friends have defended him against charges of excess. One told the newspaper: 'He can't just walk into a cinema and watch a film like you or me.


'It's only a family home, just a big one. It's a question of convenience and requirements.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1320426/Mukesh-Ambani-Indias-richest-man-builds-home-valued-630m.html#ixzz12zGjMgvB

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