EDIT -- 18 Oct, 07; the building is slightly redesigned. See page 3. New design on left:
Indian tycoon Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, India's largest private sector company, has been mooting the idea of a groundbreaking residence for his family for almost a decade. As is company is leading the charge in Indian real estate, with massive SEZs planned to come up across the country, Ambani wanted his residence, located at Altamount Road, in the heart of Mumbai's skyscraper construction scene, to reflect the future of Indian construction.
The design of the Residence Antilia, as it came to be called, was kept a close secret even after construction started a couple months ago. Several days ago, he finally approved the release of the building's design to the public.
The Perkins + Will-designed 27 storey tower already under construction is planned to be the greenest in Mumbai (in apparent conflict with the Park Hyatt Tower and Lodha Bellissimo, which also claim the tag.) Like most capital projects in Mumbai, and reflective of Indian architecture and ancient Indian Vaastu Design, these buildings are to be garden buildings that, since they are skyscrapers, appropriately embody the garden-in-the-sky concept.
Residence Antilia goes one step further. It is designed as the largest and tallest "living wall" in the world -- a seamless, vertical garden that encompasses all walls of the building climbing to the 40th floor. Within this Vaastu tradition, the spine is regarded as the main source of support of the building, symbolically leading upward toward enlightenment. The various floor planes encombass a variety of garden tiers, terraces, water falls, ponds, recreational facilities, and enclosed, living areas that takes advantage of the most spectacular views of Mumbai and its waterfront.
You can see this goal in even the original plan of the tower:
The building's height is significant. At 245m, it will be one of the tallest buildings in Mumbai. Although it only has only 40 floors, due to the non-standard design of the building, using the Indian construction standard of about 3.5m/floor, it will have the virtual height of a 70 storey tower, and will rival the nearby Imperial Twin Towers in height.
The tower will have 6 floors of parking; several floors of just gardens; a couple "entertainment" floors including a massive theater; 2 floors of guest apartments, and various floors dedicated to the kitchen, laundry and other services. Reliance Corporate offices will be in the bottom floors and the private Ambani family residence will make up the topmost several floors. A helipad is designed on top, but there is mixed reports on whether this feature has been actually approved by the authorities.
Construction is well underway, can can be seen in the skyline. With nearly two floors being added every day, construction is expected to be completed by November, 2008.