Indian luxury residences, as reported by Wood Central, is amongst the most desirable asset classes in the real estate market, having remained relatively resistant to any market downturn and having made a remarkable return on investment.
Not reliant on mortgage fluctuations, the luxury home market is driven by affluent homebuyers and has traditionally been an attractive investment option.
Additionally, because they offer a better and more personalised lifestyle, developers have been able to market luxury projects better than other asset classes successfully.
A new study has forecast a jump of nearly 70% in demand for roundwood in India in the next decade, from 57 million cubic metres in 2020 to 98 million cubic metres in 2030, driven largely by demand from the construction sector.
And last week, Wood Central reported that 91% of Australian softwood exports for April 2023 found their way to India – driving an unexpected surge in softwood exports.
Without a political policy change, India will need to rely heavily on imports to meet this surge in demand because the country’s conservation-oriented forest policy restricts domestic production.
But far and above India’s resurgence in luxury private residences, none reaches the heights of the opulence of the $2 billion 27-storey Antilia mansion in south Mumbai, built with mass timber components.
Mumbai, previously called Bombay, is considered the financial centre of India, with a population of 12.5 million.
Both Antilia’s main vertical/lateral structural elements and the floor spanning systems are constructed from timber, although local non-timber was used between connections.
Designed by Chicago-based Perkins&Will – which was recently awarded the prestigious American Insitute of Architects Award for the University of Washington Life Sciences Building – and Hirsch Bedner Associates in Los Angeles, Antilia was one of the largest residential projects undertaken by Australia’s largest construction company CIMIC, formerly Leighton Holdings.
There are luxury homes, and then there is Antilia.
The much-talked-about dwelling, one of the most expensive in the world, is owned by business magnate Mukesh Ambani, chair of Reliance Industries, a petrochemical corporation whose earnings come from exploring, producing, refining and marketing oil and gas. They are also the world’s largest producer of polyester fibre.
Inspired by the mythical Atlantic island from the 15th-century Spanish tales of the Atlantic Ocean, Antilia is estimated to be the world’s second-most expensive property after Buckingham Palace.
The 3720 square metre building is situated at one of the world’s most expensive addresses – Altamount Road in South Mumbai.
Every floor is the same height of an average two-storey building.
In fact, Antilia can survive an earthquake of 8 on the Richter scale.
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.
The Ambani home has a mega-temple, a host of guest suites, a salon, an ice-cream parlour and a private movie theatre to accommodate 50 people.
The architects say the Ambani mansion couldn’t be greener; it’s covered in foliage, with living walls enclosing all four sides, hanging gardens and a green rooftop.
It is apparent Mukesh Ambani has a huge need for speed. Antilia has six dedicated floors for cars, including his Rs 5 crore Mercedes Maybach.
The garage has space to accommodate 168 cars, with a dedicated car service station on the 7th floor.
If that were not enough, Antilia also has nine high-speed elevators, each assigned to different floors.
Also, to cool Mumbai’s hot summers, the Ambani family has installed a dedicated snow machine that spits out snowflakes.