Give this family a tax break stat:
MUMBAI — The newest and most exclusive residential tower for this city’s superrich is a cantilevered sheath of steel and glass soaring 27 floors into the sky. The parking garage fills six levels. Three helipads are on the roof. There are terraces upon terraces, airborne swimming pools and hanging gardens in a Blade Runner-meets-Babylon edifice overlooking India’s most dynamic city.
There are nine elevators, a spa, a 50-seat theater and a grand ballroom. Hundreds of servants and staff are expected to work inside. And now, finally, after several years of planning and construction, the residents are about to move in.
All five of them.
You know the drill: this provides jobs for hard-working Indians, why can’t the United States foster this kind of wealth-creation anymore, the first time I took a bus from there a limbless child told me “look what we did to this neighborhood”.
Truthfully, I make no moral judgements here. I think this story will generate a lot of discussion, and just not in India.
Let’s see John Fucking Galt have an airborne swimming pool…
I thought Deckard lived on the 93rd floor.
I can’t wait for Tom Friedman to come up with his next column from the balcony.
But the owners work 900,000,000,000,000,000x harder than the average Indian so it’s only fair.
Feudalism is alive and well. It’s just a 21st century castle – just more comfortable and sans the mote although I would guess it has the 21st century equivalent of a mote.
I thought the world was FLAT. So much for that POS theory.
I’m sure Mumbai’s newest phallic symbol allows for breathtaking views of the disease-ridden shitholes nearby.
@freelancer: 97th. Apartment number 9732.
America’s bankers and hedge fund managers have a new goal to shoot for.
So much for Blade Runner meets Babylon, though I’d probably opt to have Deckard’s apartment instead.
“Lovely Listing,” one of the LOLCat sites, has a photo of this place. I don’t care how rich this family is, or how much money the place is worth, it is fugly as fugly can be. It doesn’t look remotely like anyone’s home; it looks like a skyscraper made of high-tech shopping carts.
@CaseyL: Can’t buy taste.
Green. Fucking. Balloons.
Please Green Balloons. If I can’t have a French Revolution, I can’t listen to this shit anymore. It ain’t funny, gallows or otherwise. It is just fucking obscene.
This guy needs a tax break, stat.
What’s that flower you have on?
Am I missing something or is this a clever homage to Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky”?
In mainland China successful families have been building their own private skyscrapers for a while now, if not on quite this scale of frenzied opulence. Chinese Christians have also constructed some huge churches, although the wingnut press will never tell you this, since “persecution” and “no Bibles in China” is the approved line for heavenly victimhood.
They had pics of the place in Barrons or Fortune. It is an uglee place. I don’t know who you can spend this much money and end up with such an unattractive building.
It’s a tribute to “Delta Dawn.” The song was a hit for Tanya Tucker in 1972 and for Helen Reddy in 1973.
I like this quote:
Clearly, Mr Padamsee is not one to overstate his case.
To me it’s a sign that civilization is headed for some kind of fall.
An IT contractor from India showed me the picture of this place yesterday at work. He seemed very proud that it was built in India and that an Indian has such an obscene amount of money.
My Indian coworkers all seem to wear an ostentatious amount of gold though so I wasn’t too surprised.
Left Coast Tom
Couldn’t he afford to hire any architects to help him with the project? It looks like a five year old piled legos on top of each other, and the project was “completed” when dinnertime arrived.
Five residents, but 600 support staff. There are about 20 support staff per floor, so I don’t think the family will be lonely.
It’s likely that the Harp Seal pup carpeting gave people the wrong impression.
Ohh, I disagree. The building is famous enough that if you just start on the google with mumbai + 27 you’ll see the renderings in no time. But I’m weird about stuff like that. The only way I could like the Soldier Field renovation more is if they had first knocked down the neo-classical atrocity that used to sit there.
I’ll make it a moral judgement. You can start by asking what the workers get paid. The Gulf, where I am, is flooded with Indian laborers, mostly from Kerala, who are paid about 210 dollars a month. They are also fed and housed; you can imagine the conditions. Fortunately for the bosses, the great majority of them are Hindu, thus vegetarian, as one boss pointed out to me in the bazaar, cutting food costs even further. There are hundreds of thousands of these men in the region, mainly employed in construction. The only work rule that really protects them is that they can’t be made to work when the temperature reaches 50c. At 48, they work – on oil rigs, construction gangs, road building, etc.
They tell me they are desperate to come here.
You can’t have wealth like that without total, ruthless exploitation of the poor. Go to Newport, Rhode Island, or walk up Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and recall the social condition for the poor when those palaces were built.
The very existence of that building is a crime.
@Suffern ACE: Can you imagine those privacy agreements though? I’m sure violating the family’s personal space like that will cause mandatory organ donation for seven generations.
@Comrade Luke: It will have special insights from the
limosinecab driver that took him there.
@Suffern ACE: The staff is living in cardboard boxes in the back alley.
Also Delta Dawn was written by Larry Collins of the Collins Kids who even in his sixties when I saw him in the early 90s was one of the stronger guitar players I had ever seen.
@Yutsano: Hi, hon. I’m stalking you. I can’t comment on the thread because I’m just plumb tuckered out of outrage at the moment.
I’m sure they picked that neighborhood because of all the nice little shops and restaurants within walking distance. And the school district is top rate! It’s so nice to feel a sense of home in one’s surroundings.
@Ailuridae: Oh man, I’ve got a Collins Kids record in my collection. I remember them as sounding like the Everly Brothers at 45rpm. I don’t want to go to bed with the song ‘Delta Dawn’ on my mind.
It’s 400,000 square feet. About 3x the size of your average Costco.
That is cool. Never saw Collins play (I was thirty years on with concerts by the 90’s) but, I did see Tanya Tucker live during my honky-tonking days. Back then, it was “Tanya Tucker; love to…”
Just enough room for Tom Friedman’s ego when he visits then?
@morzer: Ooh, I don’t know about that.
Appreciate the corrections, but for me “Spirit in the Sky” still blows the doors off “Delta Dawn”; and to boot I prefer the Bette Midler version. Sigh. I’m old.
The owner was totally ripped off by his architects. It’s a godawful ugly building.
@LesGS: Well, duh.
What makes you think anyone building a 27 floor 400,000 square foot house with 9 elevators and 3 helipads would have any taste to begin with?
Steve Jobs instead goes for an $8M, <5,000 square foot house. Still expensive, but 5 bedrooms, 3 car garage, vegetable garden. Like night and day.
Even though wasting money is the point of something like this, it still strikes me as an exceptionally bad value. If I spent a billion fucking dollars on my home, I’d expect to at least get my own 18 hole golf course, among other things. I guess the guy didn’t want to commute.
Apropos of nothing, one of my favorite pictures.
It’s Sao Paolo, Brazil, for those interested.
@LesGS: It fits in with the natural surroundings that are Mumbai. I’m still not quite convinced that this is a house, though. The articles keep referring to the Lobby and Parking Garage, and houses do not have those, even mansions.
@PeakVT: But, what do you need 400,000 square feet for? Seriously, even if I built every workshop I ever wanted, a bowling alley, racquetball court, pool, dream kitchen, indoor miniature golf course – I mean absolutely everything I could ever imagine wanting to be within reach that’s indoors, I couldn’t fill even 30,000 square feet.
I don’t think people really grasp how big 400,000 square feet is. The White House is 55,000 square feet.
@Sly: Wow, that looks like a Photoshop job. Unreal.
While 27 stories is a lot, even by Indian standards, these are clearly not large stories. My mother-in-law, who is not rich by any means, has a house that is four stories. Her brother, who is of more significant means, has a house that is five stories (it shows off his wealth because it’s made of marble).
I wouldn’t guess that it was 400,000 square feet. On the other hand, I would guess that the owner was Punjabi. Those people just have terrible taste in architecture . . .
Jesus Bourgeoisie Christ.
Sao Paolo is a contender for the worst income inequality in the world. The poor live in filthy slums, while the rich all own private helicopters and fly over the shacks in-between their posh mansions and their offices. There’s literally no contact between their world of luxury and the world of the destitute.
@Martin: You don’t collect anything. Or needs the wall space to hang the collection of paintings hes been buying on e-bay for the past few years. Maybe he’s a hoarder.
Things start to pile up after a few generations and then it goes out of style, the family wants something more modern, and it is handed over to the taxpayers to make into a museum.
India is just entering the period of monopoly capitalism that we entered in the latter part of the 19th century – the age of the Vanderbilts, Carnegies, Rockefellers, et al. Look at what they built, the sheer extent of their property. By their standards, this is not excessive.
According to the Irish Times, the home has more area than Versailles. That would put it at over 700,000 square feet of floor space. Somebody, somewhere is wildly off the mark about this.
@Suffern Ace: It’s the size of MOMA. It’s already bigger than most museums.
OT, but the most popular boy’s baby name in England last year was……..Muhammed! Can you just imagine the teabagger reaction?
@LesGS: The building’s ugliness is intentional. Have you not heard of the architectural principle of IGMFY?
What do you expect from a country where one of the most popular authors is Ayn Rand?
What do you expect from a country that has successfully sold ostentation and elite visibility as signs of India f**king shining to its people?
What do you expect from a country where the media takes its cues from Perez Hilton?
What do you expect from a country that treats Gandhi like an embarassment?
The only thing that matters is that these 5 tenants get to use all that space in a city where families of four and five (and thats middle class families) survive in single room matchboxes of 400 to 600 sq feet.
It’s one of those things that make you want to cringe whenever you see an India ad or look at the rows and rows of books in local bookstores about “India:Emerging Superpower”
@dslak. I had the same thought. Punjabi Hindu, not surd
Huh. Its the f**king Ambanis. Children of Randian Superhero Dhirubhai Howard Galt Ambani, darling of the Indian Stock Market
The ultimate rich kids.
@dslak: Do you even realize how offensive that sounds?!?
@Martin: Oh, I agree. I think 400,000 sq ft is ridiculous. He could put a car factory in on the lower floors and still have room for living.
@Brother Cod: FYI, “surd” is derogatory.
Oh yeah, and fuck you too
Surd is derogatory? I’m sure that Mallu, Tam, Punju, Gult, Chome, Bong etc are also derogatory. Doesn’t stop us from referring to each other as such.
Whats next – being an Indian is derogatory.
So fuck you right back.
@Brother Cod: What about ghati, pandi and gulti? Not to mention dozens of much worse terms. I’m pretty sure *you* dont find them offensive. Doesnt mean they are not.
That aside, someone points to a ridiculous building and says the owner must be punjabi cos “Those people just have terrible taste in architecture”. Do you really believe thats defensible? And are you really that clueless about social issues?
Look, I agree with you about the reference to the building bit.
Bad taste and a mistake.
As for the other terms – I fall under one of those myself.
But surd? A shortening of Sardar? A word that means leader? In what universe is that derogatory?
And why are geographical contractions derogatory?
I am that clueless about social issues in India. I have to have these things pointed out.
Right now, I don’t see a lot of difference between reaction to such ostentation between Indians and Americans.
A percentage consider the building as unreasonable and immoral, given poverty. That will be the left.
A percentage consider it as just rewards; and see no reason to be annoyed. They are mainly arguing with the left. That will be the libertarian right.
A percentage consider it as a show-off. That will be the educated elite.
A vast majority don’t care. They have other concerns, in both countries. I don’t think they even feel envy at that scale of ostentation.
The only additional factor in India is that India was a former colony, and therefore a good percentage of the educated elite feels pride at such incidents. Americans feel no such need because nobody is calling them the Third World all the time.
The effects of colonialism need not be embarassing to any Indian.
They have Alaskan Huskies in Mumbai?
amazing how such gross displays of wealth are lauded these days.
“Let them eat samosa”
Biltmore is only 175,000 sq ft. but has 75 acres of grounds and a railroad, so there’s that.
This building is in poor taste, in more ways than one.
Brother Cod and dslak seem to be pontificating about India without a having a clue about what their talking about.
Ambanis are Gujaratis, not Punjabis, Hindu or otherwise. It is never a good idea to generalize about entire communities or countries based on a sample size of one. That’s just lazy.
Just because one IT contractor was proud does not mean every one in India loves this fugly building.
@schrodinger’s cat: I wasn’t generalizing; I was making a joke that people familiar with India (especially Delhi) would get. Of course not all Punjabis have bad taste, nor is bad taste among Indians restricted to them.
On the other hand, I do have a nice collection of Sardar jokes I could share . . .
Paul in KY
That’s the ugliest 1 billion dollar house I’ve ever seen. Also. Too,
I don’t know how many people here read comic books. But about 15-20 years ago there was a series of graphic novels called “Hawkworld” which was sort of an alternative story to Hawkman, and it’s pretty much the same concept. These guys flying around on towers and stuff while the poor toil below, brutally put down by police, and where drugs run rampant. Hawkman was a cop (a rich man’s son though, so he was privileged)
Wikipedia has an entry here
Indians value gold and yes they do wear a lot of it. My wife is forever wanting to buy gold.. The only gold I got right now is my wedding ring. I dont actually find gold to be attractive, I much prefer platinum.. or oxidized silver.
The effects of colonialism need not be embarassing to any Indian.
The endless use of “colonialism” as an excuse by citizens of a country that was a going concern at a time when its “colonial masters” were running around naked in the woods painting themselves blue is a huge goddamned embarrassment to the entire human race. Not to speak of the fact that countries like India and China, which were both put together by imperialism of the most ruthless kind, are in no position to criticize “colonialism” in others.
No idea what you are talking about.
Colonialism is a specific term referring to industrial scale exploitation in the last few centuries – it is not used (as you do) for ANY invasions or occupations. For example nobody uses the term colonialism for the Roman occupations of Gaul.
Further if at all I used it as an excuse, it was for people’s attitudes; not for blowing up anything. Sociologists have tomes relating to the after-effects of colonialism on society.
Again, I don’t understand your first line at all.