The Kanchanjunga Apartments have ruled Mumbai's skyline for many years. Built in 1983, the housing complex was a symbol of the posh upper-class housing being developed in Mumbai. Located in the southern part of the city and containing 32 luxury apartments, It became so famous that the owner kept the whole building except for a few flats, which he had already sold. Its staggered layout, huge balconies, and four different apartment typologies varying from 3 to 6 bedrooms make Kanchenjunga unique.It now stands in front of Antila, a new building and the 'most outrageously expensive property in the world according to Forbes 2019. It is the private residence of Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
Nondita Corre Mehrotra told me that the building initially had foam finished concrete on the elevation, but eventually, it had to be plastered over to protect the concrete from degradation. Because of this, the elevation looks much thicker now.
I met the woodworker who has been in charge of the maintenance of the building since its completion of construction. He mentioned that many people changed the layout of their apartments after taking permission from the building owners. Some people removed the wall of the kitchen to make the room larger. Some people added new furniture to suit their styles and needs, and most residents chose to install higher railings in the open staggered spaces in the apartments.
Owned by the family of late businessman Parmanand Patel and one of the most valuable properties in Mumbai, KanchanJunga is caught in a family feud and litigation. On the condition of anonymity, residents told me that widely celebrated features of the building, such as the staggered floors on multiple levels, have not been very supportive for older people and children. While the building design considered climatic factors, the needs of the city's well-to-do have changed over time, and they felt that it was not sufficiently planned to accommodate services like air conditioners.
-Nipun Prabhakar, 2021