07 May, 2021

“It’s A Celebration Of Affluenza; Mere Verticality Is Not Magnificence”

Competitive skyscrapers and the victims of aspirational developers.

Amit Haralkar
“It’s A Celebration Of Affluenza; Mere Verticality Is Not Magnificence”

Antilia: The 27-storey citadel designed as a residence for one branch of the Ambani fam­ily is that intriguing paradox: a monumental celebration of domestic life, a conspicuous paean to privacy. The building embodies this fundamental contradiction, at the levels of scale, purpose and effect. A contradiction that finds articulation in the building’s confused masses, which seem perched precariously above the neighbourhood to which they are a visual affront, and its disoriented elevations, which look out in all directions and none. Antilia demonstrates, alas, that mere verticality is not magnificence.

Kohinoor Square: The competitive drive among developers to inflict ever-higher skyscrapers on a metropolis whose infrastruct­ure is terminally comatose has given us monstrosities like this 52-storey ‘square’. This celebration of affluenza is rising before our eyes on the site of a landmark textile mill. Erasing the memory of labour, it will house a five-star hotel, a high-end mall and residential and commercial floors...

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