World’s most expensive home ‘spends lonely nights’

Antilia Mukesha Ambani House in Mumbai
The Antilia is situated at Altamount Road, South Mumbai. PHOTO/COURTESY

Nearly two years after its completion, the world’s most expensive home – the Sh85 billion Antilia tower in Mumbai – is abandoned every night because of superstition.

Its owners, Mukesh Ambani (the 9th richest man in the world) and his family, believe it would be bad luck to spend the night in the house and so they continue to stay in a more modest 14-storey apartment tower at the south end of the city.

The Antilia was completed in 2010 amid criticism that the building was an ostentatious display of wealth in a largely poverty-stricken country and a city where more than half of the population lives in slums.

The 27-storey building boasts 400,000 square feet of living space, three helipads, three floors of hanging gardens, a ballroom, a theatre, six floors of parking with space for 168 cars, personal gyms on each floor, a health spa, a yoga studio, swimming pools among other facilities.

According to reports, the Ambani family is concerned the house lacks large eastern facing windows, which according to the ancient Indian architectural principles of vastu shastra (similar to feng shui) would curse them with bad luck.

Vastu emphasises the importance of facing the rising sun and ironically the multi-billion shillings building does not have enough openings to let the residents enjoy morning sunlight.

According to Wikipedia, the Antilia was designed by Chicago based architects, Perkins & Will using vastu shastra to maximize ‘positive energy’. The building can withstand an 8-richter scale earthquake.

Mr Ambani recently sold his newly built Delta Centre in Nairobi to the World Bank for Sh2.2 billion.

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