12 Of The Most Expensive Houses In The World
Mentioning the word ‘Home’ evokes a sense of comfort and modesty. For most of us, it’s not the size that matters as much as the soothe and security, we feel within this place called home. Well, for those who are listed as the richest people on Earth, there’s more to a ‘home’, than just modesty and utility. To these, who ace the lists of ‘Forbes’ Top Billionaires’ and ‘The Most Expensive Houses In The World’, home is a place where they can spend most of their fortune, afford unimaginable luxuries and flaunt their wealth. These billionaire homes are architectural expressions born out of extravagance and vanity. Their lavishness and exclusivity not only inspire commoners towards riches but also provide opportunities for experimentation, with some of the most expensive and uncommon technological innovations.
1. Antilia, Mumbai, India, owned by Mukesh Ambani
Like many billionaire families, Ambanis too wanted an opulently unique and customized residence. Thus began the conceptualization and construction of ‘Antilia’, designed by the firm Perkins and Will, named after a mythical island in the Atlantic Ocean. Costing over $1 billion and taking four-years to be constructed, Antilia now stands boastingly, amidst the slum filled context of Mumbai. This 27 floor high residence, stacked to achieve an area of about 400,000 square feet, surpasses the Palace of Versailles in terms of area encompassed. With six levels of parking below the ground level, three helipads, a health spa, a salon, a ballroom, a 50-seat movie theater, multiple swimming pools, yoga and dance studios and an ice cream room, maintaining Antilia reportedly requires a staff of about 600.
2. Villa Leopolda, Villefranche-sur-mer, France, owned by Lily Safra
Villa La Leopolda is a palatial villa, with cascading terraces, located in the Alpes-Maritimes on the French Riviera. Spread across 20 acres, this villa has a reputable history of owners including Gianni and Marella Agnelli, Izaak, Dorothy J. Killam. Since 1987 it was owned by a Swiss banker Edmond Safra, who passed it on to his survivor and mistress Lily Safra. The architectural character of this villa belongs to a historical style called Belle Époque which translates to ‘Beautiful Era’. Designed by an American architect named Jr. Ogden Codman, on an estate once owned by King Leopold II of Belgium.
3. Fair Field, Sagaponack, N.Y, owned by Ira Rennert
Ira Rennert, an American billionaire, owns this sprawling mansion, part of a 63-acre estate called Fair Field, one of the largest in the United States. It includes several built forms, has 29 bedrooms, 39-bath rooms, 3 dining rooms, 3 swimming pools and a 164-seat theatre. The estate also includes a recreation pavilion with basketball court, gym, two bowling alleys, two tennis courts, two squash courts and many other buildings. A residence of this size, also requires an immense supply of electricity, which also is sufficed by an on-site power plant.
4. 18-19 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, U.K, owned by Lakshmi Mittal
Steel baron Lakshmi Mittal, shares neighborhood with some of the world’s richest icons. London’s prime and priciest residential address i.e. Kensington Palace Gardens is also the second most expensive street in the world. Reportedly the average price per square meter here is $107,000. Laskshmi Mittal, owns not one, but three palatial homes on this street, numbered 9a and 18-19. The house was designed by Sir Charles Barry in 1845, as a pair of semi-detached ‘Palazzo’ style villas. Lakshmi spent millions to renovate and transform the renaissance styled mansion into “Taj Mittal”. With a total of 12 bedrooms, a pool, and Makrana marble, this mansion can be considered a pricey tribute to his Indian origins.
5. An apartment in One Hyde Park, London, U.K, owned by Rinat Akhmetov
Ukraine’s richest man and oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov spent a record-setting amount of £136.4m, to buy two of the world’s most expensive apartments, in Knightsbridge, London. This project by Richar Rogers, and his firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners encompasses an area of 25,000-square feet. Each of these apartments flaunts a 360º protection by bulletproof glass facades, exclusive interiors designed by Candy & Candy and sophisticated lighting systems by artist James Turrell, which gradually change the ambiance from sunset to sunrise.
6. Ellison Estate, Woodside, California, owned by Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison, co-founder, and chairman of Oracle, world’s fifth richest man and a famous property collector, built his Japanese-style estate in 2004, which took him 9 years to build. Modeled after a 1600 CE Japanese emperor’s palace, this mansion was designed and constructed by Paul Driscoll, a Zen Buddhist teacher, and architect. It includes three cottages, a gymnasium, eight bridges, two gardens, a five-acre man-made lake, a bathhouse and a koi pond. The landscape also includes expenses of cherry blossom, maple and other Japanese species along with pines, oaks and redwoods.
7. 16 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, U.K, owned by Roman Abramovich
Another billionaire resident at the Kensington Palace Gardens street, Russian tycoon and the owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich owns this exuberant huge mansion. Despite the whopping price-tag, this London mansion falls short in terms of facilities and area. Hence Roman plans extend it underground, to accommodate a subterranean leisure complex with a tennis court, a health center and an auto museum.
8. Blossom Estate, Palm Beach, Florida, owned by Kenneth Griffin
Kenneth Griffin, an American hedge fund manager and the owner of Citadel LLC, bought four adjacent properties, for a total of nearly $130 mioms, six kitchens, a library and a full-fledged guest house.
9. Xanadu 2.0, Seattle, WA, owned by Bill Gates.
The richest man in the world, Bill gates owns this simple looking, but extravagantly architected mansion, on the edge of Lake Washington. Named Xanadu 2.0, this 66,000 sq. foot residence was designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and Cutler Anderson Architects, built over a span of 7 years. The earth sheltered mansion boasts of quite a many features apart from its sustainable design, including a high-tech sensory system changing the ambiance to suit the mood and timing, a pool with an underwater music system, a 2,500- square foot gym with a 20 feet high ceiling, 24 bathrooms, six kitchens, a library and a full-fledged guest house.
10. Silicon Valley Mansion, Los Altos Hills, CA, owned by Yuri Milner
Russian tycoon and an investor in Facebook, Yuri Milner, is a proud owner of his retreat home in California. This mansion resembling to a French chateau has plenty of indoor and outdoor pools, a luxurious ballroom and living areas which frame a panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay.
11. Broken O Ranch, Augusta, Montana, owned by Stanley Kroenke
Billionaire Stanley Kroenke bought this ranch for $132.5 Million. The estate includes an exclusive 10,000-square foot house with an indoor pool. As far as the ranch goes, it has multiple horse stables, nearly 4,500 cattle, extensive water rights and significant agricultural property.
12. 15 Kensington Palace Gardens, London, U.K, owned by Tamara Ecclestone
The heiress, and also a British Playboy model, Tamara Ecclestone, spent a bounty, on her 55-room house, in the ‘Billionaire’s Row’. She also modified this mansion by revamping it with an Amazonian crystal bathtub, a private nightclub, a bowling alley, a subterranean swimming pool, a beauty salon, a dog spa and a car lift.
These billionaire homes, their extensive estates, and their impressive scale, not only knock our socks off but also astound us with their impeccable opulence and grandeur.
By: Khushboo Vyas