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.
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