$1 billion house uninhabitable?
The owner of the world's first 10-figure home says he can't sleep in it, according to reports.
Maybe this will help home prices increase: In some parts of the world, a cool billion dollars won't even buy you a house in which you can sleep at night.
That's apparently the case in Mumbai, where Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in India and among the 20 wealthiest people in the world, reportedly will not spend a night on any of the 27 floors of his tower, named Antilia. He, his mother, his wife and their three children instead pass their days in the building, then move to a 14-story home called Sea Wind to sleep, reports the "Architizer" blog.
By the way, when it was completed for $1 billion, Antilia was the most expensive home ever built.
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The reason, according to the Engineering News-Record, has nothing to do with a lack of night lights or proper sheet thread count in the house, which does have three helipads and 160 parking spots for folks who wouldn't mind crashing till morning. It has to do with the construction, and the potential that U.S.-based architects Perkins & Will and Hirsch Bender Associates did not account for the Indian doctrine of Vastu Shastra.
Typically associated the design of Hindu temples, Vastu Shastra precepts call for a balance of the five natural elements — air, earth, space, fire and water — among other things. This may help explain the house's pool and "ice room," in which snow flurries reportedly fall from the ceiling.
And yet, from the Engineering News-Record:
According to the principles of Vastu Shastra, a home's eastern side should have enough windows or other openings to let residents receive sufficient morning light. The Ambani home fails on that and other counts, reportedly leading the family to believe that moving in will bring them bad luck ...
Reports of Ambani's hesitance to call Antilia home have actually been around since last fall. At the time, The New York Times also speculated that other forces may be in play:
Muslim political leaders and other critics said the land was sold for only a small fraction of its market value. Ambani acquired the property in an auction, and his spokesman has denied allegations that he paid less than the land’s market value.
As Antilia was nearing completion, many Mumbai residents criticized the building as an ostentatious display of wealth in a country where most people live on less than $2 a day and a city where more than half the population lives in slums. … Gyan Prakash, a history professor at Princeton University who wrote the book “Mumbai Fables,” said the criticism could have influenced the family’s decision not to make Antilia their full-time residence.
A spokesman for Ambani's Reliance Industries has denied that the family does not live in Antilia.
Although Vastu Shastra is different from the Chinese practice of feng shui, the practices are sometimes associated with each other, and each has gained some ground in the U.S. in recent years.
- MSN Living: One room, three ways
One primary difference: According to Vastu Shastra, remodeling may not necessarily change the structure's metaphysical plan.
— Tony Stasiek is a producer/editor at MSN Real Estate.
Let this uninhabitable home serve as a monument to what is wrong with the world today. So blatently built among people who are poor, starving and with no options in life, this home stands to define the gap between those who have and those who have not and the nonexistence of a middle ground between the two. This home is uninhabitable because it defines the gap so blatently even the rich owner cannot consciously lay his head down to rest in it.
This is both sad for the poor and also sad for the rich. We are indeed living in a sick society.
Amen to that.
Talk about coming to a Foreign Country and visit Companies to steal their ideas. Go back to the early 70's, and the Japanese.
I worked for British Leyland then in Cowley UK, and roughly twice a month would see parties of them being shown around the Lines with cameras clicking like lightning strikes.
Not too long after that, we heard their economy was booming.
They should donate the building as a clinic or office building to aid the poor. Then their Karma can be influenced back in the right direction.
Shame on the greedy American architects who did not do their job in researching local customs.
So much good could come out of 1 billion dollars, yet they chose to waist it on a "house" that will never bring them joy, peace or a since of "i've done a good thing here". Yes they probably added some temporary jobs, but now where do you go from here?
Well there you go!
A fool and his money.
He wouldn't have his money if it weren't for other people doing his work. He didn't make it on his own.
This is a very selfish person.
A person who is not humble.
Not the mark of success.
When people like this have so much money and time to waste it; it; it just makes me sick. To think what better could be done. But know what?
It's their life and their money and it ain't any of my business. He can't take it with him when he goes.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.