India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, has courted excess by building a $1 billion house for himself and his family in Mumbai – however now that the massive building is complete they still have yet to sleep in it! The home, called Antilia, boasts 27 stories, a spa, a yoga studio, a movie theater, hanging gardens, a swimming pool, and an ice room – but for unknown reasons the family still has yet to move in. Although the family denies it, some have speculated that the building does not follow an ancient Indian design philosophy called Vastu Shastra, which is similar to the Chinese practice of Feng Shui.
From afar, Antilia, which was named after an island in the lore of Atlantis, looks like a typical skyscraper. Designed by Perkins+Willand Hirsch Bedner Associates, the 568-foot-tall building is tall enough to hold 60 stories, but Ambani opted for the grandeur of extraordinarily high ceilings. The opulent abode has more than enough room for Abmani’s wife and three children, although some of the world’s poorest people live nearby.
At one point Antilia was pitched as being one of the “greenest” buildings in the world, although any sustainable building strategies appear to have disappeared as the project went from rendering to reality. Early plans featured a foliage-covered façade, which never came into existence.
The rumors as to why the Ambani family hasn’t spent the night are running rampant and range from superstitious beliefs to the placement of the windows on the eastern façade. Either way, the billion dollar home mocks its less fortunate neighbors even more with its unoccupied state.