|Location||Altamount Road, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai|
|Cost||US $2.6 billion |
|Height||173 m (568 ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Perkins & Will|
|Structural engineer||Sterling Engineering Consultancy Services (Mumbai)|
|Main contractor||Leighton Asia|
It is the residence of the Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his family, who moved into it in 2012; at 27 stories, 173 metres (568 ft) tall, over 37,000 square metres (400,000 sq ft), and with amenities such as three helipads, air traffic control, a 168-car garage, a ballroom, 9 high speed elevators, a 50-seat theatre, terrace gardens, swimming pool, spa, health centre, a temple, and a snow room that spits out snowflakes from the walls, the skyscraper-mansion is one of world's largest and most elaborate private homes.
The architectural design of Antilia has been fashioned along the lines of the lotus and the sun. The top six floors of the building have been set aside as the private full-floor residential area. It is also designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake.
The 4,532-square-metre (1.120-acre) land on which Antilia was built housed an orphanage called Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Yateemkhana with 60 orphans, and belonged to a charity run by the Wakf board. The orphanage had been founded in 1895 by Currimbhoy Ebrahim, a wealthy shipowner. In 2002, the trust requested permission to sell this land, and the charity commissioner gave the required permission three months later. The charity sold the land allocated for the purpose of education of underprivileged Khoja children to Antilia Commercial Private Limited, a commercial entity controlled by Mukesh Ambani, in July 2002 for ₹21.05 crore (US$2.8 million). The prevailing market value of the land at the time was at least ₹150 crore (US$20 million).
The sale was in direct contravention of § 51 of the Wakf Act which requires that any such sale of land should be done after the permission of the Maharashtra State Board of Waqfs. The Waqf minister Nawab Malik opposed this land sale, as did the revenue department of the Government of Maharashtra. Thus a stay order was issued on the sale of the land. The Waqf board also initially opposed the deal and filed a PIL in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of the trust. The Supreme Court, while dismissing the petition, asked the Waqf board to approach the Bombay High Court. However, the stay on the deal was subsequently vacated after the Waqf board withdrew its objection.
In June 2011, the Union government asked the Maharashtra government to consider referring the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation. A PIL was filed a decade later by Abdul Matin, against the orphanage and the Charity commissioners permission. As of 2018, the case was being heard by a special bench of the court.
Design and construction
Antilia is designed by two US architecture firms Perkins & Will, based in Dallas, and Hirsch Bedner Associates, based in Los Angeles. They were consulted after Nita Ambani was impressed by the contemporary Asian interiors at the Mandarin Oriental, New York also designed by them.
The building plan was approved by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in 2003, and construction started in 2006 with Leighton Asia initially taking charge, and completed by B. E. Billimoria & Company Ltd. The architects altered floor plans and design concepts as the construction of the building progressed. The home has 27 floors with extra-high ceilings. (Other buildings of equivalent height may have as many as 60 floors.) The home was also designed to survive an earthquake of magnitude 8. It is considered by some to be the tallest single-family house in the world, but others disqualify the Antilia because it includes space for a staff of 600.
The interior design uses the shapes of the lotus and the sun. These two features are repeated throughout the building using crystals, marble, and mother-of-pearl. However, no two floors use the same materials or plan, the idea of the design is of consistency, but no repetition.
The building has three helipads, however, they are not operational. The helipads have to be certified air-worthy by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and have to get approval from the central defence and environment ministries.
The house warming was done in November 2010, but Ambani did not immediately move in for fear of "bad luck". In June 2011, almost 50 renowned pandits were invited to conduct pujas and address vastu issues in the building, after which the Ambanis took up residence in September 2011.
Cost and valuation
Prior to construction, the worth of the plot and unbuilt house were estimated to be more than US$1.2 billion. During planning, the house was expected to be the world's largest and most expensive home, with a cost of about US$2 billion. As of 2014[update], it was considered the world's most expensive private residence.
On 10 July 2017, a fire broke out on the ninth floor, and it was extinguished within a few minutes. Six fire tenders reached the building within 10 minutes of getting the call. However, the fire was extinguished before the fire brigade team reached, by Antilia staff who used a small line of fixed fire fighting systems and fire extinguishers. The fire was confined to the 4G antenna and plastic framing of the vertical garden.
On February 25, 2021, a car containing 20 explosive gelatin sticks and a threatening letter targeting the Ambanis, was found near Antilia. The car was parked about 400 metres from the building on Carmichael Road bordering Altamount Road. A security officer at Antilia placed a call to the police control room regarding the suspicious vehicle, and the police rushed to the spot, joined by the bomb detection and disposal squad. After the sniffer dogs detected explosives, the bomb squad removed the gelatin sticks, which were found to be not assembled, and had no battery or detonator. The probe was led by the Mumbai's crime intelligence unit head Sachin Vaze. The case was handed to the National Investigative Agency which found out that Sachin Vaze was involved in this incident, and he was arrested.
Tata Group former chairman Ratan Tata said Antilia is an example of rich Indians' lack of empathy for the poor. Tata said, "The person who lives in there should be concerned about what he sees around him and asking can he make a difference. If he can not, then it's sad because this country needs people to allocate some of their enormous wealth to finding ways of mitigating the hardship that people have." "It makes me wonder why someone would do that. That's what revolutions are made of."
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