Inside The World's First Billion-Dollar Home - Antilia
While visiting New York in 2005, Nita Ambani was in the spa at the Mandarin Oriental New York, overlooking Central Park. The contemporary Asian interiors struck her just so, and prompted her to inquire about the designer.
Nita Ambani was no ordinary tourist. She is married to Mukesh Ambani, head of Mumbai, India-based petrochemical giant Reliance Industries.
Quick bites on Antilia
Like many families with the means to do so, the Ambanis wanted to build a custom home.
The Ambani home, called Antilia, differs in that no two floors are alike in either plans or materials used. At the request of Nita Ambani, say the designers, if a metal, wood or crystal is part of the ninth-floor design, it shouldn’t be used on the eleventh floor, for example. The idea is to blend styles and architectural elements so spaces give the feel of consistency, but without repetition.
Antilia’s shape is based on Vaastu, an Indian tradition much like Feng Shui that is said to move energy beneficially through the building by strategically placing materials, rooms and objects.
Lobby: Nine elevators dot the lobby floor: Two are designated for parking areas, three for guest quarters, two for the Ambani family residences and two for service. The lobby opens to numerous lounges, reception areas and powder rooms. Dual stairways lead from the lobby floor down to the ballroom, which is designed in an open layout with a two-story roof.
Ballroom: The most striking features of the Antilia ballroom are the crystal chandeliers that will take up approximately 80% of the ceiling. The silver stairways lead to a central landing, behind which two retractable doors can open to display works of art. There is also a stage for entertainment or speeches, with a projection screen behind it. A kitchen, about the same size as the ballroom itself, can service hundreds of guests.
Bathroom: One of Antilia’s key design themes is the mix of lavish features seen in worldwide homes and elements that are distinctly Indian. The Gingko-leaf sink designs are a good example. Native to India, the leaves in the sinks are shaped in such a way that their stems guide water into the bowl created by the basket of the leaf.
Traditional Lounge: Ambani’s home features countless lounges, offering Reliance Industries guests a quiet escape. Chandeliers and mirrors are a common feature of these rooms, as are finely woven Indian area rugs.
Modern Lounge: Each space and floor uses materials not seen anywhere else. The idea is that spaces will blend into one another, giving the impression of consistency and flow, while at the same time displaying different influences and traditions. This furniture, floors, lines and dark woods of this lounge have a more minimalistic approach than the home’s other lounges.
Health Level: The indoor/outdoor health level features a lap pool and Jacuzzi that take in views of the city skyline, as well as lounge chairs shaded by trees. Yoga and dance studios, changing rooms for men and women, gyms and a solarium with a juice bar fill out the interior space.
Garage: The first six floors of the residence has been dedicated to parking for the Ambani family, guests and employees. Hanging vertical gardens dot the exterior. While they make for good decoration, their key function has to do with energy efficiency: The hydroponic plants, grown in liquid nutrient solutions instead of soil, lower the energy footprint of the home by absorbing heat and sunlight and providing shade that helps keep it cool.
Roof: The top floor features a covered, outdoor entertaining space with panoramic views of the Mumbai skyline as well as the Arabian Sea. On those days when it’s too hot, or cold, an interior space with floor-to-ceiling windows provides the same luxury.
Masters Management Consultants was associated with Antilia for providing the PMC of the specialised SPA and Fitness areas.