Chicago Firm’s $1 Billion House That No One Sleeps In

Antilia or Reliance Building drawing at Perkins and Will office

When we were touring the headquarters of Perkins + Will a few months ago, we noted that on one of the walls was a rendering of Antilia, the 27-story home of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani that the Chicago company designed.

The skyscraper (formerly known as the Reliance Tower) in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), is estimated to be worth between $500 million and $2 billion.  It has a staff of 600 to keep on top of the nine elevators, 168-car garage, and a room that makes its own snow.  Fortunately for the staff, no one needs to make the beds in the massive skyscraper house because none of the family members it was built for sleep there.

Apparently, that would be bad luck.

Indian media, and now Architectural Record, report that the building does not meet the standards of Vastu Shastra, the Indian equivalent of China’s feng shui.  Among its sins is the fact that the windows don’t let in enough sunlight in the morning.

Certainly, this isn’t Perkins + Will’s fault.  It’s unlikely that the company put together a 27-story design without running it past the Ambanis at least once for approval.  Perhaps when the family was picking colors for the three helipads it wanted, it forgot to mention that certain closely-held superstitions would make the tower unsuitable for its primary function.

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Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

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