What is the biggest house in the world? There are big mansions and other residences in the world, and we are going to look at the ten that top that list! We are going to look at the world’s largest houses to see where they are, how big they are, and who lives in those houses. Keep reading to learn more about the world’s biggest houses.
- 1 Ten of the Biggest Houses in the World
- 1.1 Istana Nurul Iman (200,000 m²) in Bandar Seri Begawan
- 1.2 Antilia (37,000 m²) in Mumbai
- 1.3 Biltmore Estate (16,623 m²) in Asheville
- 1.4 Safra Mansion (10,900 m²) in São Paulo
- 1.5 Fairfield Pond (10,200 m²) in the Hamptons, New York
- 1.6 Oheka Castle (10,100 m²) in West Hills, New York
- 1.7 The One (9,800 m²) in Los Angeles
- 1.8 Witanhurst (8,400 m²) in London
- 1.9 Modern Versailles (8,400 m²) in Windermere
- 1.10 Meadow Brook Hall (8,200 m²) in Rochester Hills
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions
Ten of the Biggest Houses in the World
The biggest houses in the world can be found throughout the globe and there are not necessarily any countries that have a monopoly on the biggest mansions. That being said, this list of ten of the biggest houses in the world is in descending order, with the biggest house first. However, you may be wondering how size is measured to determine the biggest houses in the world. The means of determining this is by looking at the square meters of the building. The size of the actual property is not counted though. The reason to exclude the size of the property is because the biggest houses in the world do not actually have the biggest properties, the biggest properties would be owned and operated by farmers who have massive swaths of land with little actual construction on them.
Lastly, what is a “house” in this sense? We are looking at all structures that are residential in nature. The large structures in this article will all be the kinds of buildings that have been constructed as a residence. So, without further ado, let’s start off by having a look at the biggest house in the world.
Istana Nurul Iman (200,000 m²) in Bandar Seri Begawan
|Architect||Leandro V. Locsin (1928 – 1994)|
|Date Constructed||1984 – 1986|
|Size (in square meters)||200,000|
|Location||Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei|
Istana Nurul Iman is, by far, the world’s biggest house. This residence may also come across as somewhat unfair because of who owns it, as Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, is the owner. This means that Istana Nurul Iman is not simply a private residence owned by a rich person, but rather a powerful political figure who has also turned this residence into the seat of the Brunei government. For this reason, you could see this big mansion as something similar to the White House. It serves as both the residence of a country’s political leader and is also the head political office of said country.
Istana Nurul Iman is the answer to the question: what is the biggest house in the world? As such, this gigantic residential palace was also designed in the most exquisite styles available. The structure was designed in such a way that it would implement various Islamic and Malay architectural elements, as this is the cultural heritage of the country, and as such it makes use of vaulted roofs and golden domes. It also includes a vast array of interior living space. There are 1,788 rooms in total. It can accommodate thousands of guests in its banquet hall, has an air-conditioned stable to house over 200 polo horses, and it even includes its own mosque. Not only is this the biggest house in the world, but it’s also one of the most lavish in the world.
Antilia (37,000 m²) in Mumbai
|Architect||Perkins & Will Associates|
|Date Constructed||2004 – 2010|
|Size (in square meters)||37,000|
Antilia is a rather interesting location because it’s unlike most residences. It is a residential tower, a relatively small skyscraper that sits at 173 m (or 568 ft) in height. However, while there are many residential towers that are taller than this, there aren’t many skyscrapers that are solely used as the home of one person. In this case, that person is Mukesh Ambani. His family also resides in the structure. This sole-family skyscraper with its 27 floors worth of rooms includes a number of expensive amenities, such as a garage that can house 168 cars, a private theater, a spa and personal health center, its own temple, and, of course, a special snow room that emulates a snowy landscape as synthetic snowflakes are ejected out the walls. When you have money, there are quite a few things you can do.
Antilia Tower in Mumbai, India; A.Savin, FAL, via Wikimedia Commons
The basic architecture of Antilia is Modern in its general layout. It’s a skyscraper so there isn’t much chance to emulate the kinds of big mansions that many of the largest residences in the world happen to be. Instead, it is a rather stunning piece of architecture that includes multiple terraces that stick out of the darkened façade of the structure.
Biltmore Estate (16,623 m²) in Asheville
|Architect||Richard Morris Hunt (1827 – 1895)|
|Date Constructed||1889 – 1895|
|Size (in square meters)||16,623|
|Location||Asheville, North Carolina, United States|
The Biltmore Estate is a far more traditional big house. This is one of the biggest mansions in the world, and it has the exact appearance that one might expect. This is, firstly, the largest house in America, and it was commissioned by George Washington Vanderbilt II. This man was part of the prominent and immensely wealthy Vanderbilt family, which became incredibly powerful and rich through businesses such as steamboats and railways. The house itself is constructed in the Châteauesque style and was directly inspired by the Châteaux of the Loire Valley in France. This is also one of the oldest houses on this particular list as many of the world’s largest houses were built far later.
However, this gigantic estate also contains lavish and elaborate gardens that were designed by the same landscape architect that designed the most famous park in New York City, the iconic Central Park. The estate also includes its own forest and winelands.
As for the building itself, the Biltmore Estate has 250 rooms, its own library, banquet hall, music room, indoor pool, and, of course, its own bowling alley. That last one does appear slightly less illustrious than some of the others, but perhaps bowling was something the owners simply loved. The estate is still, to this day, owned by the Vanderbilts.
Safra Mansion (10,900 m²) in São Paulo
|Size (in square meters)||10,900|
|Location||São Paulo, Brazil|
The Safra Mansion is another of the oldest structures on this list, and it is a positively gigantic mansion structure that is owned by the Safra family. This family made their fortune through banking. The mansion is also located in São Paulo, and so it includes some of the most stunning views in the world, and the big mansion is rather stunning too. It has often been claimed that it resembles the Villa Leopolda in the French Riviera. However, this particular mansion does contain its own unique flair. There is a lakeside pool, its own massive wine cellar, lavish gardens, and endless bedrooms. It also, of course, is surrounded by a very high wall to ensure that no one can get in or near the structure. Security guards patrol and maintain the perimeter to ensure that this is the case.
Other than the walls and stunning estate that surrounds it, the Safra Mansion is also a beautiful building in its own right that was constructed around a Neoclassical architectural style that includes the kind of white exterior that was prominent in such structures. Along with this, it includes many arches, columns, and balustrades to complement this style. All of these together contribute to the Safra Mansion being one of the world’s largest houses while also being one of the most stunning.
Fairfield Pond (10,200 m²) in the Hamptons, New York
|Architect||Robert A.M. Stern (1939 – Present)|
|Size (in square meters)||10,200|
|Location||The Hamptons, New York, United States|
Fairfield Pond is not only a large residence, but it is also an absolutely gargantuan estate. This private estate is owned by the billionaire industrialist and investor, Ira Rennert, and it is located in the Hamptons. This gigantic house includes the usual things you may expect from the world’s largest houses. It has 29 bedrooms and 39 bathrooms, but it also has other very expected amenities, like its own squash court, bowling alley, basketball court, 91-car garage, tennis court, and a large private theater. Additionally, Fairfield Pond is near the ocean and contains a few less expected features. The above mentioned features are the kinds of things that are commonly found in some of the biggest mansions in the world, but this one also includes its own synagogue and its own power plant. Relying on the statewide power grid is likely not an option when you want to ensure that you never suffer blackouts if someone else suffers them.
This is not the largest house in America, but it is one of the largest. It was also large enough to cause considerable controversy when it was constructed because its immense size and environmental impact sparked the ire of both local residents in the area and environmentalist groups.
Oheka Castle (10,100 m²) in West Hills, New York
|Architect||Delano & Aldrich Associates|
|Date Constructed||1917 – 1919|
|Size (in square meters)||10,100|
|Location||West Hills, New York, United States|
The Oheka Castle is a very traditionally designed mansion located on Long Island. It is specifically located in a region known as the Gold Coast. This may already indicate the kind of wealth that is typically seen as necessary to live in this particular region, and this particularly massive structure is the home of the financier and philanthropist Otto Hermann Kahn. To further signify ownership of the structure, the name “Oheka” is actually an acronym that comes from the name of the man who built this structure.
This is one of the oldest houses on this particular list, but this French Renaissance-inspired structure with its Châteauesque style is one of the most lavish of those on this list. In addition to a gorgeous house, the property also includes a lavish array of gardens, its own golf course, tennis courts, a landing strip, stables, orchards, pools, and a whole greenhouse complex. It is a massive structure. In addition to being one of the largest houses in America, it has also become a tourist attraction complete with its own restaurant and bar. There are also tours on offer. Lastly, this structure is a part of popular culture because of how it has been used in a number of films and series, like Citizen Kane and Succession.
The One (9,800 m²) in Los Angeles
|Architect||Paul McClean (20th Century – Present)|
|Date Constructed||2011 – Present|
|Size (in square meters)||9,800|
|Location||Los Angeles, California, United States|
The One, aside from having a somewhat arrogant name, is a hilltop residence that overlooks Los Angeles. It is located in Bel Air, which is, famously, one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the entire country. In this particular case, this hilltop mansion is owned by the CEO of Fashion Nova, Richard Saghian. In terms of more modern structures, this is the largest house in America. It comes complete with over sixty rooms, a massive private theater, a bowling alley, a tennis court, a 91-car garage, a squash court, and a basketball court. It has all the amenities that one could ever want, but these are still relatively standard in terms of the biggest mansions in the world. Some other features are a bit more unique in The One.
This structure also includes its own synagogue, which probably saves you from needing to make a trip across town, and it also has its own power plant. The latter feature is probably one of the most fascinating of the lot. Either way, this is one of the biggest houses in the world and a structure that manages to have one of the most gorgeous hilltop views in the United States.
Witanhurst (8,400 m²) in London
|Architect||George Hubbard (1859 – 1936)|
|Date Constructed||1913 – 1920|
|Size (in square meters)||8,400|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
Witanhurst is one of the older properties on this list, and it is located in London. It is also a hilltop structure, but it is designed in a very typical mansion style. The massive house was built by the soap magnate Arthur Crosfield in the Queen Anne style, and it includes everything one might expect. It has a vast array of bedrooms, its own rotunda, a library, and even a ballroom. Aside from this, the house is complete with a vast collection of furniture, rare books, fine art, and various artifacts from around the world. It has also been owned by a number of prominent individuals and families over the century that it has existed. Currently, it’s owned by a Russian businessman and former politician named Andrey Guryev.
Witanhurt may be rather old, but it has seen extensive renovations ever since 2010. These renovations have added a whole new villa onto the property, the addition of new basement levels, and even an underground passageway that connects some of the structures together. All of this has contributed to this building being both one of the largest and one of the most expensive houses in the entire world.
Modern Versailles (8,400 m²) in Windermere
|Architect||John Henry (20th century – Present)|
|Date Constructed||2004 – 2021|
|Size (in square meters)||8,400|
|Location||Windermere, Florida, United States|
Modern Versailles is a gigantic traditional-style mansion located in Florida. The name clearly evokes the famous Palace of Versailles in France, and as the owners of the building are the founders of Westgate Resorts, they have the money to build their own palace. The house was also only completed in 2021, and so it is a very recent construction at the time of writing.
The gigantic house contains a massive pool, a private theater that can seat 164 people, a large array of bedrooms, its own video game arcade, a roller rink, and a large wine cellar. It is also one of the most expensive houses in the world and cost an estimated $100 million to construct.
Some of the stranger features that can be found at Modern Versailles include a full spa, yoga studio, fitness center, and, of course, a shark tank. This is the kind of structure that one may expect the newly wealthy to adopt as their residence. It’s decadent, it’s massive, and it intentionally evokes an old money structure like the Palace of Versailles.
Meadow Brook Hall (8,200 m²) in Rochester Hills
|Architect||William Kapp (1891 – 1969)|
|Date Constructed||1926 – 1929|
|Size (in square meters)||8,200|
|Location||Rochester Hills, Michigan, United States|
Meadow Brook Hall is another of the world’s biggest mansions that is also a rather typical construction. It was designed using a Tudor Revival architectural style by William Kapp, and it was built at the behest of Matilda Dodge Wilson, who was the heiress of the Dodge car company. However, in recent years, it is no longer a private residence and has instead been turned into a historic house museum. The gigantic structure includes a ballroom, its own chapel (in a Gothic Revival style), and a sun porch. In addition to this, one of the primary attractions for which Meadow Brook Hall is known is that it contains a massive art collection that includes various pieces of pottery, porcelain, furniture, fine art, and glassware. The house has also become a National Historic Landmark and is operated to this day as a public location.
We have come to the end of our look at the biggest houses in the world. We have looked at some of the biggest mansions on the planet to examine a little of their history, their owners, architectural style, and their size in general. Hopefully, this has shown just how big houses can get when someone has the kind of money you’d need to construct something of such scale. However, just because a house is big does not necessarily mean it is beautiful, and there are many other houses worth seeing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Biggest House in the World?
The biggest house in the world is the Istana Nurul Iman. This massive structure is a 200,000 m² building that has been the home of Hassanal Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei, ever since its construction in the mid-1980s. This building has a whopping 1,788 rooms within its walls, and the building as a whole makes use of a more traditional Islamic and Brunei Malay architectural style.
Which Country Contains the Highest Number of Mansions in the World?
It is not particularly easy to determine something like this in precisely definitive terms. However, the United States is home to six of the top ten biggest houses in the world. The largest house in America is not the largest in the world, but in terms of the simple number of the world’s largest houses, the United States does take the top spot. This also makes sense as the United States has some of the highest number of billionaire residents in the world, and billionaires tend to want big mansions.
Which Country Has the Largest Average House Size?
When not looking at the world’s biggest houses and instead looking at regular houses owned or rented by regular people, then the average size of a house varies significantly. Smaller countries, like the United Kingdom, tend to have a smaller average residence size while larger countries, like the United States, are usually able to spread their construction out. The country with the biggest average house size is a suitably large country, Australia, and it has an average of 239.4m² at present.
What Is the Most Expensive Non-Royal Residence in the World?
The biggest house in the world is not necessarily the most expensive house in the world. In terms of non-royal residences, the most expensive residence in the world is the Mumbai-based Antilia. This is also considered to be the second-biggest house in the world. This residence, which is actually a private skyscraper, is owned by Mukesh Ambani and is worth about $2 billion.
Which Royal Residence Is the Most Expensive in the World?
While a non-royal residence like Antilia may be worth a few billion, the most expensive royal residence is significantly more expensive. At $6.9 billion, Buckingham Palace in London is by far the most expensive royal residence in the world. It could also be considered one of the biggest houses in the world, but as a palace, that may be a little unfair. Either way, Buckingham Palace is one of the biggest houses in the world while also being the most expensive.
Justin van Huyssteen is a writer, academic, and educator from Cape Town, South Africa. He holds two degrees in Theory of Literature and is currently completing a third. His primary focus in this field is the analysis of artistic objects through a number of theoretical lenses. His predominant theoretical areas of interest include narratology and critical theory in general, with a particular focus on animal studies. Other than academia, he is a novelist, game reviewer, and freelance writer.
Justin’s preferred architectural movements include the more modern and postmodern types of architecture, such as Bauhaus, Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Brutalist, and Futurist varieties like sustainable architecture. He is also particularly interested in the many vernacular styles of architecture that have often gone unnoticed in favor of the more famous universalized styles. He likes the more inventive and unusual forms that tend to go against the descendants of Classical architecture.