Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Billion Dollar Behemoth

27 damn floors. Indoor parking for 168 cars. Helipad. 600 full time servants. All for one mega-rich family of 6.

1. Architectural Record
2. Mumbai Mirror
3. ABC News
4.
World Architectural News

Discuss.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Krazy-ass Fugly.

Anonymous said...

If all tall buildings had that much space allocated to vertical gardens, the world would be a better place.

Anonymous said...

talk about needing to reduce personal waste and going green. The best example over indulgent I have ever seen. ffg

E.J. said...

Maybe if we just sawed part-way through those angled support beams. We could hide behind the plastic trees in the "garden." Then we just wait.

Anonymous said...

there are some recent pics in my blog posting about the Ambani residence:

http://celestri.org/2007/06/02/ambanis-antilla/

FlyingDutchman said...

So they'll be using the top floors of roughly 35,000 square feet. The rest will be a corporate meeting facility so it's not all that bad. It's still ridiculous but there are many more people living in houses this large.

Anonymous said...

Think of all the homeless and poor that could reside in the building. Wouldn't that be the best way to spend a Billion in a country you have profited from?

CicelFoot said...

I hope this is in Dubai

so_chic_darling said...

I agree that as as vertical palace it make more sense than a big sprawling one would.If the 600 servants are housed in the structure then it would also be better than living on the streets as do millions in India.
Having said that though it is still a crazy thing though,and how come it costs a billion?This is India not Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

Ok, let's get a couple of things straight. First, the person who is building this "house" can build what ever he wants, no one cares if you don't like it. Second, the building is green, it is being built to be energy efficient with geothermal heating, recycled materials, ect. Third, I heard about this place months and months ago and there was many articles online about it, Mama, you need to step up your game! JK Love you Mama!!

lil" gay boy said...

Let's face it folks, sure it is an extremely self-indulgent enterprise, but I remember when I first saw the sketches for it on Architecture Week (www.ArchitectureWeek.com/today.html), I was impressed. For the city formerly known as Bombay, this will be the jewel in the crown.

Buildings like these have become the forerunners of major change in design direction (such as Lever House, The Seagrams Building, and NYC's Guggenheim Museum, The Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, etc.)

Most of the innovative designs today are coming out of the Mid & Far East, such as the Burj Dubai (the world's tallest building at an astoundingly reported 195 floors - www.burjdubai.com), the first 7 star hotel in the world, The Burj Al Arab Hotel (www.fivestaralliance.com/luxury_hotel/dubai/burj_al_arab), also in Dubai, and the many towers rising in China.

The rest of the world is outstripping us in creativity it's time we took such bold steps again.

It's what I had hoped for after 9/11 but we find ourselves saddled with an uninspired "Freedom Tower" of no particular distinction; surely we could have done better by our countrymen who gave their lives that day.

pch said...

From a design perspective, I think this building is absolutely fascinating -- a completely radical evolution of the high rise form -- like a modern, inventive interpretation of Babylon's hanging gardens.

lil" gay boy said...

PCH, there's something also very Corbusier about it, don't you think? His "parklands in the sky" in his Crystal City visions?

Anonymous said...

"how come it costs a billion?This is India not Manhattan."

Land in Mumbai is expensive. India may be the 3rd world but you have many millions of people with many millions in their bank accounts living 1st world lives just like you or me ...

It's quite strange that someone would spend so much money on a home / office when many millions of his countrymen don't even have water ... I just hope he went a walk around Dharavi close by, & perhaps things would be put in perspective ...

But I can't really criticise b/c I'm sure he gives a lot to charity & he's free to spend his vast fortune whatever way he wishes & in reality it's no different to the wealth disparity that you find in many cities in latin America, Africa & other parts of Asia ..

Anonymous said...

Honey, it's not just disparity in latin America, Africa and Asia. It's all over the world including the US of A.

Ali said...

I thought I was looking at a stack of books when I first saw this, and was wondering why my Mama would post a picture of a stack of books. Then I realized it's a fugly sky mansion. If it matched the buildings around it I think it might be okay. All the greenery is nice, but it definitely isn't me.

lucy said...

Hmmm.

From an engineering standpoint, it's the coolest thing evah. From an architectural and social standpoint, it's not so good.

I'd always be afraid of being in one of those "W" sections, however...

so_chic_darling said...

It's futuristic and it's green,I like it.

Anonymous said...

"Honey, it's not just disparity in latin America, Africa and Asia. It's all over the world including the US of A."

I understand what you're saying, but disparity of wealth between the rich & poor isn't as wide in Europe & North America as it is in Asia, Africa & Latin America ...

Have you witnessed the Favelas of Rio while sitting on Ipanema surrounded by multi-million dollar apartments? or the shanty towns of Cape Town whilst on your way to the multi-million dollar beachfront mansions in Camps Bay? ... & thats only 2 examples ... I could go on about Sao paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Santiago, Johannesburg & a whole bunch of other cities ...

Perhaps have a look at this - it demonstrates my point ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Urban_population_living_in_slums.png

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Principaux_Bidonvilles.png

Anonymous said...

sorry, the links are cut off for some reason ... here they are again ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:
Urban_population_living_in_slums.png


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/
Image:Principaux_Bidonvilles.png

Anonymous said...

We may not have it being built in the USA but at least it was designed by an American architectural firm.

Bigdaddyj said...

I predict Persian palaces of similar design to being popping up all over the Beverly Hills flats any year now, LOL - and it's only a matter of time, given things like Jerry Seinfeld's personal garage-park on the Upper West Side and Bob Guccione's hideous double-wide townhouse that we start seeing similar structures in Manhattan, don't ya think? Sad sad state of the world, the rich get richer, the poor get.....to gawk!

Sandpiper said...

I liked this building without completely understanding it. Then I found a fleeting reference to the impetus of its design...Vasstu Shastra. Fascinating.
Wikipedia says: building environments that are in harmony with the physical and metaphysical forces.

How cool is that?!

Alessandra said...

While the social critic in me finds it entirely unnecessary for six people to occupy a building of this size, the design fiend in me is intrigued. This is a fascinating live/work concept, and I love the incorporated green/garden space. With the vertical footprint, I suspect that developers in areas with a scarcity of available land (Tokyo, NYC and London come immediately to mind) will follow this building with great interest.

I don't know if it is compelling enough to call it "the design of the future". Some concepts look better on paper, and humans seem to have certain innate preferences for living quarters, but I do think that this approach has merits and should be considered for other areas. With perhaps more than one family and their commercial needs being accommodated...

Be the change..... said...

It may be 'progressive' but it's fugly. Think of all the 'progressive' architecture from the 50's through the 80's - whats all that come to now with a few noted exceptions such as the lever house or the guggenheim. If it's not torn down it's mostly hated and reviled. Architecture as fashion is costly and wasteful.

Anonymous said...

What a disaster this thing is. Donald Trump must be green with envy.

Cameronj@usc.edu said...

I actually think it's gorgeous... It looks like a Kanner-designed building that may or may not be built in downtown LA. However, that building is condos, and this is... well, it redefines extravagance. But, such is life... We'll see how it turns out.

Hippie Canyon said...

OMG. I thought I was looking at the latest condo tower concept from a student of architecture. But, I'll be damned if someone doesn't consider this a place to call home. ONE HOME. Not a condo tower, not a co-op in the sky. ONE HOME. Make that ONE FUGLY HOME. Come to think of it, this design looks like some bored kid took a stack of books, a roll of Saran Wrap, a few trees from his GI JOE battle field set, and a few from his sister's Barbie's Hawaiian Hotel, and declared himself an architect. Reminds me of something I'm often saying these days: Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if Larry H. would show this guy the benefits of solar panels. This building could produce enough electricity for the entire city.

sandpiper said...

This article gets into the building's layout, floor by floor.

http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?Page=article§id=15&contentid=20070530022210718d7460de5

Hi There said...

I'm torn. On the one hand it's kinda spectacular. All the vertical gardens are great for going green and all that crap. And I employing 600 people, well, it's good to employ 600 people in a country where so many don't have decent paying employment.

but, all this for 1 family? 600 staff people for one family? There's no getting around that it's excessive, entirely unnecessary, and beyond vulgar. In fact it's shameful.

I also don't believe for a minute there's any "corporate retreat" element here. It's for one family and only one family. I'm sure of it.

JB in Silver Lake said...

Anybody ever play Janga?

Anonymous said...

YES! It does remind me of that! The minute you said it --- click!

Anonymous said...

ummmmm, I would discuss it, but in a rare moment...I am speechless over this building.It does look like you would have to have a suicidal gardner..one clip too many on a shrub and over he goes...
thump...not a pretty picture...
Geneen

jim nabors said...

awesome.

crazy, but awesome.

i'm with "so chic"

nice to see imagination at work and it's green.

but man, the wind and the rain whipping around those irregular edges and hollows will be murder on the upper floors will be murder.

Anonymous said...

I'm a professional architect. When I take poops, I look at my crap and design buildings according to the shape of my turds. I don't care if this building is energy efficient and all that mumbo jumbo. It's ugly and that's the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, too bad Perkins+Will is lame...

Anonymous said...

architect F.Gehry-now your secret is out!

More vertical gardens.
http://www.jetsongreen.com/2008/01/tuin-project-ho.html

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if staff reside on "maintenace floors" or is that all HVAC?
Also, what is on the later added top 3 floors?

lil' gay boy said...

What controversy this has stirred up! From the standpoint of social responsibility, it is a staggering monument to vulgar excess.

However, it is a "green" building, and as such is forward-looking in environmental responsibility. And its multi-function design is an intriguing concept.

It amazes me that the visceral reaction is to either love it or hate it - there were no "BLAHS" in any of the comments. Revolutionary architecture will evoke that kind of response; where you stand as far as your own personal set of values will determine whether it deserves brickbats or plaudits - whether you love it as architecture but hate its excess, or visa versa.

I'm put in mind of a building like the Taj Mahal (not for comparison to this building; stay with me here) - a single, enormous, expensive, socially irresponsible, outrageously lavish, bejeweled building; built with slave labor and no concern for expense; and for what?

One man's desire to honor his beloved dead wife. Yet despite its extravagance, it is one of the most beautiful structures in the world, and we'd all be poorer in spirit indeed were it not there.

Now I'm not saying this is the next Taj Mahal, but it is in the making of the effort to go far beyond the norm that makes this building worthwhile. A monument to one's man's ego, perhaps, but what will we say of it in 100 years if it's still standing?

I'm with So_Chic, Sandpiper and PCH; it intrigues; isn't that what good architecture should do?

sandpiper said...

Here's what I know; based on a lot of hands-on, in the trenches experience--down and dirty. Pervasive design of domestic new builds, incl. monument structures, is largely restricted by standard construction practices. If it isn't in the construction bibles, ain't gonna happen. Translation: liability issues. No vested architect or related shareholder wants to be associated with a flop.

In this instance, the wealthy Indian ownership will shoulder that burdeon. Fair enough.

Lot's of other dynamics involved, but this is the Sesame St. long and short story.

This is also why I was so thrilled to see Mama's recently-featured desert property. Those guys went out on a limb, and I'm still torqued.

Anonymous said...

This looks like Britney Spears and Mattel designed this thing. Well, if Britney were gardener, all the shrubs would be buzzed down.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 2:23;

I also wondered what those extra 3 floors in the sketch were for; can you imagine if it is one immense living room?

Breathtaking.

aussie child said...

if I had the money I'd do it, spend a billion on a house that is, not build something ugly like that

Anonymous said...

As the US enters recession and the overheated Indian stock market tanks, the froth being used to build this garbage will disappear. I hope that it remains half-built for the next 50 years to serve as a reminder of the greed, waste and excess expended by corporate criminals in the new century.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 1:38,

Kind of like the Ryugyong Hotel, at 105 stories, started in the '80s in Pyongyang, North Korea, and still stands unfinished to this day.

Anonymous said...

Oh, LGB, you're so erudite and knowledgeable about so many things. I'm breathless.

bentley said...

I want to hate it, but I don't, in theory!

I'm in complete agreement with the footprint, the "green" factor.

I abhor the parkade and the fact that it's for 1 family. Gross in every sense of the word.

Any environmental concern leant to the building of this structure is negated by 168 cars and enough helicopters to warrant 3 helipads.

lil' gay boy said...

Anon 3:46,

I'll take that as a nice compliment and not some snarky comment from some of the haters that lurk here.

With almost a 1,000 channels of crap on satellite TV, I find myself reading a lot more.

lil' gay boy said...

Bentley,

168 parking spaces for over 600 employees?!?

Someone's gonna have to carpool it or take mass transit. Even though it's design calls for 27 levels, it's actually height is that of a 50 story building - surely they could have provided more parking . . .

bentley said...

I don't know, LGB, have you been to India? Something tells me the staff probably don't even have cars, let alone have to jostle for parking spaces amongst the Phantoms and Ferrari's.

Anonymous said...

read it again LBG...it's 168 parking spaces for the family's private fleet of automobiles...not for the staff of 600 who, like bentley said, are unlikely to afford a bicycle let alone a car.

lil" gay boy said...

Bentley and Anon 7:06,

Never been to India, but it's right up there on the list with Dubai (and the other United Arab Emirates), Morocco, Iran and Bhutan.

But with $1B to spend on this place, you'd think they could supply their staff with at least a shitty little fleet of 10-year-old Fiats.

pch said...

Dubai is completely off the hook, LGB. It's like the whole of midtown Manhattan and Las Vegas being build simultaneously. I was last there about a year and half ago -- and want to go back in another few to see the more completed city. It's a taste-free zone, but the exuberant optimism is contagious.

Also, I know they use all this tallest-highest-biggest language to describe the Burj al-Arab, but it seems much more compact than all the hyperbole would imply. The center atrium, for instance, doesn't feel nearly as vast as you'd suspect. It's still really cool, but it's a bit of a letdown if your expectations aren't accurately gauged.

lil" gay boy said...

PCH,

Been monitoring the progress of the Burj Dubai (it's currently at floor 154); it just fascinates me that something so tall stands on a 500 acre site, and that there are outdoor terraces that high up.

And although it appears vulgar on the inside, I still wouldn't mind spending a night at the Burj Al Arab Hotel.

And now they're building Palm Island, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree that can be seen from space.

It appears that oil-rich countries are not the only ones with all the money in the Mideast.

pch said...

Oh, it's definitely worth staying at the Burj al-Arab. Even getting in is a kick. You drive up to a guard gate and they lower a massive steel barrier so you can cross the bridge to the little man-made island and a forecourt packed with gleaming desert-climate-friendly-white Bentleys, Rolls-Royces and Range Rovers. Our black Porsche looked way out of place. Crazy surreal.

They're doing a spectacular job of weaning themselves off of soon-to-diminish oil income.

And there's nothing quite like seeing a beach with European women in bikinis frolicking beside conservative Arabic women in bhurkas. Apparently we can just get along...at least in Dubai...

lil' gay boy said...

PCH,

I understand the Burj Al Arab has their own fleet of Rolls, Bentleys and other fine automobiles to ferry you from the airport out onto the man made island; given that the Ryugyong Hotel, at 105 stories, in Pyongyang, North Korea, was never completed, does this make the Burj Al Arab (taller than the Eiffel Tower at what, 88 floors?) the tallest hotel, excluding hotels in multipurpose structures, such as the Armani Hotel in the Burj Dubai?

Architecturally speaking, I favor the Jumeirah Beach Hotel for its sinuous lines and balconied rooms.

Anonymous said...

I Love this house, if i had the money i would build it

theAve said...

Kinda looks like a stack of books. But, I like it. I'd attend the house-warming. For sure.