AR­CHI­TECTS OF FLOAT­ING LUX­URY

The yacht is the ar­che­typal totem of wealth, but it’s not the only way to spend time on the sea.

Robb Report Singapore - - Portfolio - By JOSH SIMS

Liv­ing on or near the sea is an al­lur­ing con­cept, which may ex­plain the rash of float­ing home con­cepts pro­posed and projects now in de­vel­op­ment. “There’s a lot of ro­mance to a float­ing prop­erty,” says David Stafford, chief com­mer­cial of­fi­cer of The Heart of Europe’s Float­ing Sea­horse de­vel­op­ment in Dubai, a plan for some 150 float­ing homes, half of which, he says, have been sold so far. “You get an in­cred­i­ble view. Liv­ing by the wa­ter soothes the soul. And with water­front prop­erty both in­creas­ingly ex­pen­sive and hard to find, the next thing to have is a float­ing home.”

The Float­ing Sea­horse homes are at the more ex­trav­a­gant end of the spec­trum, with the lat­est on of­fer at 380sqm and priced at US$4 mil­lion (S$5.3 mil­lion). But then they do also of­fer the chance to live un­der the wa­ter. Yet even the more prac­ti­cal ques­tion of the longevity of such a home is prov­ing of in­ter­est to buy­ers: sim­i­lar struc­tures be­fore have typ­i­cally been steel or fi­bre­glass; more re­cent ones have con­crete hulls, which has the en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit of en­cour­ag­ing ma­rine growth, but which also gives the prop­erty a life­span of up to a cen­tury.

In­deed, there are now many va­ri­eties of float­ing homes around the world. Arkup is a Mi­ami-based com­pany es­tab­lished last year with a con­cept for a 372sqm float­ing home – set for com­mer­cial launch this Septem­ber at US$3.5 mil­lion. It calls its idea a liv­able yacht, sug­gest­ing that the prop­erty of­fers the same ad­van­tages of be­ing on the wa­ter, but “with­out the prob­lems of ac­cess or any move­ment,” sug­gests co-founder Ni­co­las Der­ouin. Arkup’s de­sign, which is reg­is­tered

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