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Antilla as seen in artists sketchTo everyone’s surprise, price tagged at $ 2 Billion, Antilla (named after the mythical island) is in India and is world’s first billion dollar home. Indeed, like its name, it houses stuff that surrounds myth!

Owner is India’s richest, Mukesh Ambani of Reliance fame whose net worth was 43 Billion in March of this year and was the 5th richest in the world.

The only remotely comparable high-rise property currently on the market is the 70 million dollar triplex penthouse at the Pierre Hotel in New York, designed to resemble a French chateau, and climbing 525 feet in the air.

When the Ambani residence is finished in January, completing four years of design and construction, it will be 27 story and 550 feet high (height which normally houses 60 floors) with 400,000 square feet of interior space. (Click on the picture to see a video).

However, all of this has not been without its share of controversies. Antilla is being built on land sold to Ambanis’ to be used as orphanage by Waqf Board.The land measuring 11793 sq yards was sold in 2004 by the trust for a charitable purpose of looking after the destitutes and orphan children belonging to the Khoja Mohammedan community. The land was given to the Maharashtra State Board of Waqf by Jivagi Raje Scindia in 1957. The MoU was signed with four companies namely Antillia Commercials, Saphire Realtors, Rockline Constructions and Baun Foundation trust.Balroom at Antilla

The Waqf Board has told the Supreme Court that it sold the property thinking it was to be used for an orphanage and that commercial buildings are not allowed on Waqf land. Property having a market value of Rs 400 crore was sold only for Rs 21.05 cr to M/s Antillia Commercial, a company of Reliance group of Industries. Rs 16 crores were also paid to Waqf Board for No Objection Certificate.

The Supreme Court on Friday decided not to intervene in the construction of the building on Waqf board land in Mumbai and has directed the matter back to the Bombay high court.

Critics have also said that showing off such extravagant wealth in a country rife with poverty is insensitive and ethically questionable. This is excessive and ostentatious given that more than 65 percent of Mumbai’s 18 million residents live in tenements.

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Seventy-five years ago, in Los Angeles, with a no-interest loan from Dutch philanthropist Dr CH Van Der Leeuw, Viennese-American architect Richard Neutra, rightly called ‘second only to Frank Lloyd Wright’, built a radical “glass house” with rooftop and balcony gardens on Silverlake Boulevard.

Richard Neutra\'s VDL

This is the place where Neutra had designed hundreds of projects over the four continents among which are some of the finest schools, public buildings and distinguished residences. So many architects were trained here and whose careers started in this office/studio.

Neutra’s residence played host to cultural figures like Frank Lloyd Wright, Lazlo Moholy Nagy, Jorn Utson, Charles and Ray Eames; religious figures like Robert Schuler and J Krishnamurti; scientists like Rene Dubos and Linus Pauling; and to political figures and activists like John Anson Ford, Frank Wilkinson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

VDL, as Neutra had named his residence, was very dear to him. His ashes were later scattered in the backyard.

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The idea of designers and architects working together is nothing new, from the Tokyo store collaboration between Prada and Rem Koolhaas to Hussein Chalayan’s techno virtuosity in morphing dresses into chairs.

Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture\'.

We all live in buildings and wear clothes. Traditionally, fashion and architecture have remained quite distinct. However, since 1980s the two disciplines have become closer than ever before.

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Bird's Eye View of Olympic Green

Beijing’s $500-million Olympic stadium opens its doors to the media. Finishing touches are still being added to the 91000 seat venue.

Bird’s Nest, as it has been nicknamed, cost more than 500 million US Dollars and took fours years to build. It is called ‘Bird’s Nest’ due to the structural form of its roof. The interwoven structural elements of the facade produce a single surface, upon which further elements are arranged in a chaotic manner to blur the distinction between the primary structure and the secondary structure. The roof is saddle-shaped, and the geometry is developed from a base ellipse of which the major and minor axes are 313 meters and 266 meters respectively. The outer surface of the facade is inclined at approximately 13° to the vertical.

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Architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins believe that you have a right not to die. Reversible destiny comes as part of their services to you as an architect and designers.

“We believe we can help extend your lives,” architects’ claim.

They recently completed a house (not for mortals) in East Hamoton, New York. The house is called Bioscleave House which literally implies Life Extending Villa. Children are forbidden to enter this house, and even adults have to sign a waiver before they enter the house. The house comes with its own ‘User’s Manual’. The house is meant to lead its users into a perpetually “tentative” relationship with their surroundings, and thereby keep them young.

Bioscleave House

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Who Loves Architecture?

I have never heard of a profession being related to a particular community or country. Never heard, “Oh, this country produces maximum architects,” or “Architects of this country are the best,” or “This is a country of Architects”, or even “This country loves her Architects.”

Though I have heard about particular communities or countries becoming famous travel destinations because of their architecture. Italy, Greece, India are a few examples falling in the latter category.

Says Christian Lander, “If you ask white people what they love about cities they don’t live in, they will say “restaurants,” “culture,” and “architecture.” They just can’t get enough of old buildings or ultramodern buildings next to old buildings.

If you want to fit in with white people you need to learn about IM Pei, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry, and a whole swath of others. Also, be prepared to say “Bauhaus” a lot…

…The reason white people love architecture so much is that deep down they believe that they could have been a great architect. They feel the same way about other professions including: professor, writer, and politician.

A sports business model that originated in America and is now spreading across the globe. Hungering for the kind of revenue needed to field top teams, a wave of stadium construction is sweeping through sports. But not just any stadiums. Super-stadiums.

The formula: Build new facilities with fewer seats and more luxury boxes, charge higher prices, earn more revenue, hire better players and reap more wins. Then turn around and raise ticket prices. Teams are finding it’s a circle you have to be a part of.

Click on the picture to take a peek into 10 New Super- stadiums.

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