It is the residence of the Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani and his family, who moved into it in 2012. The skyscraper-mansion is one of the world’s largest and most elaborate private homes, at 27 stories, 173 meters (568 ft) tall, over 37,000 square meters (400,000 sq ft), and with amenities such as three helipads, a 168-car garage, a ballroom, 9 high-speed elevators, a 50-seat theatre, terrace gardens, swimming pool, spa, health center, a temple, and a snow room that spits out snowflakes from the walls.
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 a private full-floor residential area. It is also designed to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. As of 2014, it is considered the world’s most expensive private residence costing between US$1 and 2 billion to build. The building was designed by two US architecture firms Perkins & Will, based in Chicago, and Hirsch Bedner Associates, based in Los Angeles. They were consulted after Nita Dalal Ambani was impressed by the contemporary Asian interiors at the Mandarin Oriental, New York.
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 architect’s 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, 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 consistency, but no repetition. The building has one helipad, however, it is not operational. The helipads have to be certified air-worthy by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and have yet to get approval from the central defense and environment ministries. The housewarming 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.
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, it is considered the world’s most expensive residence.