In our supersized culture, as we’ve become bloated so too have our homes. In 1973, the size of an average American residence was 1,400 square feet. This number has nearly doubled in the last four decades. However, there are outliers, and peppered conspicuously across the planet are an amalgam of enormous mansions on sprawling estates packed with amenities most of us could only dream of owning. From million-dollar manors to a billion dollar skyscraper, you could feasibly win the lottery multiple times and still not be able to afford these homes. So without further ado, sit back, relax — perhaps try out your best Robin Leach impersonation — and enjoy the gawk-worthy sight that is the biggest house in the world (and six runner ups).
Antilia — Mumbai, India
With a net worth of more than $30 billion, Mukesh Ambani is the richest person in India and one of the wealthiest humans on Earth. The oil and gas tycoon can also boast about owning the world’s largest and most expensive private residence. The $2 billion home known as Antilia — because, as you’ll notice, naming your home is apparently a thing for the uber-wealthy — is a towering, 27-story skyscraper situated in downtown Mumbai.
Ambani worked with architecture firms Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Associates to build his personal skyscraper. Standing 550-feet high and hosting 400,000 square feet of living space, the entire project took more than four years to complete. To prevent repeating architectural elements, no two floors are identical in either floor plan or building material. The overall structure is based on Vaastu, an Indian architectural philosophy that’s similar to the Chinese Feng shui tradition. Nine elevators carry individuals throughout the massive complex, and the top floors of Antilia offer panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.
Xanadu 2.0 — Medina, Washington
We’ve covered Bill Gates’ Washington home before, and the 66,000-square-foot complex remains one of the largest homes on the planet. Bill Gates recently topped Forbes’ list of the richest humans on the planet — a title he has claimed for 18 of the past 23 years. The Microsoft co-founder is worth a cool $90 billion, and just to put that ungodly sum of money in perspective, that total would rank just ahead of the projected 2017 nominal gross domestic product of Ukraine. Needless to say, with a regular war chest of money to burn through, Gates spared no expense when it came to constructing his primary estate.
The home, dubbed Xanadu 2.0, is named after the fictional estate of title character in Citizen Kane. The home took seven years to construct and is worth roughly $124 million today. As you can imagine, the home of the former Microsoft CEO is loaded with high-end technology. For starters, guests have the option to wear a sensor-equipped pin when they arrive at Xanadu 2.0. This device transmits a signal to relay personal preferential settings as the individual moves about the house, allowing the home to cater to each persons’ temperature and lighting proclivities. There are also more than $80,000 worth of computer display systems throughout the home, and some of these screens encompass entire walls, enabling guests to change the artwork in a given room with the touch of a button.
The house has 24 bathrooms, six kitchens, and a 2,100-square-foot library that houses more than $30 million worth of original manuscripts. The ceiling of the room recants one of the more popular lines from The Great Gatsby: “He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it.”
Fellow Microsoft cofounder, Paul Allen, recently unveiled the largest airplane on Earth. Your move, Bill.
Billionaire — Los Angeles, California
Home developer and entrepreneur Bruce Makowsky is the mastermind behind this 38,000-square-foot property ostentatiously known as the Billionaire. When developing this property and others like it, Makowsky articulated his ambitions and inspirations in a not-so-humble brag:
“After spending lots of time on mega yachts and large private jets that can sell from $50 million to $500 million, it baffled me that no one was developing luxury real estate at those high levels for the super wealthy. I set up my real estate development company in Beverly Hills, California, to cater to the super affluent that demand the very best in life!!!”
Situated in the heart of Bel Air, the property recently made waves when it was listed with a price tag of $250 million. The complex features 21 bathrooms, a helipad, a bowling alley, an infinity pool overlooking the city, and 10 “oversized and VIP” guest suites — whatever that means.
Palazzo di Amore — Los Angeles, California
The Palazzo di Amore is a 53,000-square-foot home situated in Beverly Hills, one that encompasses more than 25 acres. Once guests have bypassed security and the entry gates, they can then cruise along the estate’s quarter-mile driveway, enjoying exceptional views of the manicured hillside and the extensive Palazzo di Amore vineyard.
This vineyard produces between 400 and 500 cases of wine annually, including but not limited to Sangiovese, Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot, Rose, and Sauvignon Blanc. Some of the bottles and other imports are kept in a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, and can be enjoyed in a decadent tasting room. The massive home includes 21 bedrooms and 23 bathrooms, and at nearly 5,000 square feet, the master suite is larger than most mere mortals’ entire homes.
The Manor — Los Angeles, California
The Manor, as it is known, is situated in the affluent Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. The five-acre property was originally designed in 1988 for Candy and Aaron Spelling, and is often commonly referred to as simply “Candyland.”
At nearly 57,000 square feet, Candyland is 1,500 square feet larger than the White House. The 123 rooms inside include everything from a dedicated flower-cutting room and bowling alley to a humidity-controlled space designed to house the owner’s silver. The French, chateau-style home is valued at $200 million and is currently owned by Petra Stunt, the daughter of Bernie Ecclestone. The property recently changed hands, however, as part of an all-cash deal.
Villa Leopolda — The French Riviera
Constructed more than a century ago, Villa Leopolda is brimming with history as well as extravagance. The 50-acre estate, situated in the French Riviera, was originally constructed by King Leopold II of Belgium and was later bestowed upon one of his mistresses as a gift. Inside there are 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, as well as a commercial greenhouse. The home was used as a military hospital during World War I and has made appearances in several films over the years, including The Red Shoes and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, To Catch a Thief. In 2008, a Russian oligarch purchased the property for a modest $750 million.
Updown Court — Surrey England
Located in the English town of Surrey, Updown Court is larger than both the Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court Palace combined. The mansion’s 50,000-square-foot interior includes 22 bedrooms, 27 bathrooms, a 50-seat movie theater, and five pools. In pure conspicuous consumption nature, the mansion even flaunts a heated marble driveway that cost a cool $6 million. The home also has a panic room to safeguard the idle rich in the event of catastrophe, class warfare, or general self-induced paranoia. Developer Leslie Allen-Vercoe originally purchased the 58-acre property in 2002; however, Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) eventually took over the estate once Allen-Vercoe defaulted on the high-price — read: $80 million — mortgage.