From grand countryside mansions to vast private estates and palatial residences, the biggest houses in the world are genuinely mind-blowing to behold. And when it comes to the question of the world’s biggest house, the contenders are not only vast but often truly eye-watering in their cost, opulence and grandeur.
For the purposes of this article we’re going to focus on private houses. In a lot of the world’s biggest house lists you’ll find the Istana Nurul Iman, the home of HM The Sultan of Brunei, and while it’s technically a house it’s also a royal palace so it takes its rightful place on our list of the world’s biggest palaces.
Indeed the criteria for measuring the largest house on the planet also varies, so it’s hard to come up with a definitive answer to the question ‘what is the world’s biggest house?’
It can be measured by total land area, amount of livable space, number of bedrooms or even price, but we’re going to use livable space as our way of measuring these humongous houses!
Sit back and indulge yourself in this list of the largest homes in the world, including the family that live in an actual skyscraper!
Villefranche-sur-Mer, France | 80000 ft2 | 7350 m2
Set in eighteen acres of stunning grounds on the French Riviera, Villa Leopolda is arguably the finest beachfront property in Europe. It was designed by American architect Ogden Codman Jr and was once owned by Italian industrialist Gianni Agnelli, the former Chairman of Fiat. The magnificent villa boasts 19 bedroom suites and 14 bathrooms as well as some of the most beautifully manicured gardens in the world.
New South Wales, Australia | 86000 ft2 | 8000 m2
The largest and most expensive house in Australia was built in the 1880s and owned by the Fairfax family, one of Australia’s most prominent media proprietors. Not quite the largest house on the planet but close, Fairwater is a stunning Arts & Crafts style home reportedly bought in 2018 for what was said to be around AU$100 million.
London, UK | 90000 ft2 | 8400 m2
The second largest privately-owned house in the UK after Buckingham Palace, Witanhurst sits on a five-acre estate in Highgate, north London. The Georgian Revival mansion has 65 rooms, including 25 bedrooms and a 21-metre long oak-floored ballroom. The owner is unknown but if it came on to the market it is said to be worth somewhere in the region of £370 million.
Los Angeles, USA | 105000 ft2 | 9800 m2
Bel Air is one of the world’s most expensive residential locations and its star attraction is The One, a magnificent 21-bedroom, ultra-modern masterpiece. Designed by architect Paul McClean, The One was bought by for a reported $126 million. It may not be the biggest house in the world but it’s certainly one of the most expensive. It’s equipped with all mod-cons including a sky deck, 30-car garage, an 800 square metre nightclub, juice bar, hair salon and a 10,000 bottle wine cellar.
North Carolina, USA | 178926 ft2 | 16622 m2
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina is thought to be America’s largest private home and is certainly a contender for the world’s biggest house. Sitting on an 8,000 acre estate, the Chateauesque-style mansion was built between 1889 and 1895 for George Washington Vanderbilt II. The house contains 250 rooms including 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, 65 fireplaces, a 23,000 volume library and bowling alley. The gardens were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the man who designed Central Park in New York.
Mumbai, India | 400000 ft2 | 37160 m2
Antilia is the biggest mansion in the world and is a unique property of such staggering proportions it must be seen to be believed. The home, designed to withstand a magnitude eight earthquake, is set over 27 floors and reaches a height of 173 metres. It was designed to incorporate the ideas of Vastu Shastra – literally ‘the science of architecture’ – an ancient Indian system of building homes encapsulating the forces that act on a space through the flow of positive energy.
The biggest house in the world has nine high-speed lifts, a spa and health centre, a temple and a snow room that fires out artificial snow from tiny holes in the walls. But that’s not all! There are three helipads, a 168-car garage, a 50-seat cinema, an ice cream parlour, a ballroom, dance studio and, it is believed, a floor for air traffic control!
A small army of around 600 staff look after the house which is thought to be the world’s most expensive private home, valued somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion. So there they are, some of the largest homes in the world as well as the world’s biggest house.