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Rotterdam is getting a new FLOATING wooden tower

By Ailish Lalor
Dutch Review

Rotterdam’s already-iconic cityscape will be getting a new addition in the form of a floating wooden tower. The building is designed by renowned architects Waterstudio, who have produced stunning floating buildings before.

How will the building float?

Now, you might be wondering how a solid building can float on water. The answer is deceptively simple: instead of its bulk being made out of concrete (which is, of course, very heavy) the new tower will be made mostly from wood. To be precise, it will be constructed using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), a material that Waterstudio has prior experience with.  Not only does this mean that the 130-foot-tall building will be light, it also means that it will be made out of a renewable resource. It will be a beautiful, environmentally-friendly addition to Rotterdam’s skyline.

The interior of the new tower. Image: Architect Koen Olthuis/ Waterstudio.NL

Plants, natural light, and a really cool shape

The wooden tower will mostly function as office space, but some areas of it will be open to the public, including a restaurant and a courtyard, according to Inhabitat. There will be plenty of greenery inside, which makes the plant-lovers among us very happy. A large expanse of glass will cover both sides of the building, allowing lots of natural light inside (which we need, with the everlasting grey of Dutch weather). According to Koen Olthuis, the leader of the firm, the design of the tower resembles a sheet of paper, whose edges have been pushed together to create a hill-shape in the middle.

Waterstudio unveils the world’s first floating timber tower

By Nicole Jewell

Amsterdam-based design firm Waterstudio is already well-known for its incredible floating architecture, but it continues to break ground in the world of innovative design. Now, the firm, which is led by Koen Olthuis, has unveiled the world’s first floating timber tower. Slated for the waters of Rotterdam, the tower is made out of CLT and will house office space, a public green park and a restaurant with a terrace.

rendering of large interior atrium

Waterstudio’s most recent project is a contemporary take on floating architecture. The 130-foot-tall tower will be made out of cross-laminated timber, making the structure much lighter than concrete builds. Additionally, working with CLT means the building will be made with a renewable resource, providing the city of Rotterdam with a cutting-edge sustainable landmark. The tower will also make use of large expanses of glass to let plenty of natural light into the interior. Abundant vegetation, including pocket gardens planted with vegetables, will be found throughout the tower — inside and out.

rendering of people walking through an indoor space with large trees

rendering of a restaurant setting with city views

walkway over water

floating tower in the evening

Although the tower will be mainly used as office space, there are several areas slated for the public. With offices located on the upper floors, the lower floors and main deck will house several publicly accessible spaces, such as a gallery and a coffee bar. Also on the lower deck, a restaurant will feature a beautiful terrace that provides stunning views of the harbor. For additional space, a lush, green courtyard will let workers and visitors enjoy fresh air day or night. This area is designed to be a flexible space for various functions and events happening year-round.

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# Arkup is going viral! Over 3mio viewers in the past week!

Inside a $5.5M Floating Mansion in Miami

Today we take you to glamorous South Beach in Miami, Florida to tour a truly one-of-a-kind offering. At 400 Alton Road sits the Arkup, a $5.5 million yacht house powered entirely by solar energy. The floating villa has 4 bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms, an extendable deck for entertaining large groups, and a full kitchen – all with the freedom and functionality of a yacht. If you’ve pondered what the evolution of luxury sustainable living may look like, the Arkup feels like looking into the future.

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ARKUP World’s First Solar-Powered Livable Yacht EVER – Floating House

By Sia Magazin


Meet the next generation floating house.Equipped with electric propulsion and four hydraulic spuds, ARKUP future-proof houseboat can lift itself out of the water and is completely stable at anchor.


Our 4,350 sqft mobile floating mansion is fully solar powered and harvest rainwater in order to provide the ultimate off-the-grid water-based living experience.”You can cruise silently in the bay the find the perfect spot to anchor for the week-end: totally off-the-grid.When elevated on its hydraulic pilings, the vessel is as stable as a house, and protected from the action of the waves.


The Arkup livable yacht was conceived to be sustainable and “future-proof”, from its ability to withstand or avoid extreme weather events, to its self-contained systems that allow fully off-the-grid living.



The Arkup features glass walls, multiple levels subdivided into interconnected rooms, and instant access to the water. Solar power generates enough juice not just for lights and air-conditioning, but also power for its electric engines to cruise 20 miles on a single charge.


The home is propelled by a pair of 100 kW (134 hp) electric azimuth thrusters, allowing it to reach 7 knots.With solar panel technology, rain water harvesting and retractable hydraulic legs, the ARKUP is designed for off-the-grid living.

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Case galleggianti a energia solare pensate per resistere agli uragani

Greenbuilding Magazine
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Lo studio di architettura olandese Waterstudio, in collaborazione con Arkup, di base invece a Miami, ha realizzato le prime case galleggianti capaci di resistere agli eventi meteorologici estremi. Chiamate dagli stessi progettisti e dall’architetto Koen Olthuis “yacht da vivere”, si tratta di edifici di alta gamma e di lusso pensati per essere ancorati in porti turistici o in baie silenziose in tutta sicurezza.

Con l’ausilio di pali idraulici, infatti, ognuna di queste case galleggianti viene fissata al fondale e può resistere ai venti tropicali e agli uragani. La struttura è pensata per essere energicamente autosufficiente grazie a un impianto fotovoltaico ed essere così scollegata dalla rete, mentre è dotata di sistemi in grado di gestire i rifiuti in maniera sostenibile, depurare le acque e raccogliere l’acqua piovana.

La casa, strutturata su due piani, è arredata con mobili di lusso realizzati con materie prime certificate ed è dotata di tecnologie all’avanguardia nella domotica, grazie alla collaborazione con l’azienda brasiliana Artefacto. Un soggiorno di 70 metri quadrati è affiancato da una cucina e una sala da pranzo, mentre al piano superiore si trova la camera da letto. Le porte scorrevoli in vetro, che conducono a una terrazza esterna, costituiscono quasi l’intera facciata anteriore e permettono di godere del paesaggio marino.

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Have a look inside one of our floating villas in Dordrecht

By Spruyt Waterwoningen Nederland BV

This amazing, spacious designed Water villa on the “Dordtse Ruimte” at Dordrecht (The Netherlands) is equipped with vertical zinc elements. The zinc is combined with large aluminium window frames and vertical wooden cladding. The large window frames and wide terraces are positioned in a way to optimize the view on the surroundings.

The interior is characterized by a modern and clean finish with cast floor and steel doors.


This water villa is built by Spruyt Waterwoningen Nederland BV

The pictures are made by Udo Krekt Fotografie

Offshore architecture and marine urban sprawl

By Antony Funell
ABC Australia

Koen Olthuis will be a keynote speaker at ABC Australia at the 6th of October.

Our oceans and coastlines are of increasing interest to architects and engineers. There’s a new emphasis on land reclamation and building floating structures for everything from accommodation to marine farming to energy generation. The Russians have even launched a floating nuclear reactor.

Re-defining the use of the ocean is part of the emerging “blue economy” – one that can be both economically beneficial and environmentally responsible. How well can these often contradictory goals be reconciled?




Brydon Wang – Technology researcher and construction lawyer, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Katherine Dafforn – Senior lecturer, Environmental Science, Macquarie University

Dr Darren Kundy – Interim CEO Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre

Daniel Steadman – Marine Technical Specialist, Fauna and Flora International

Koen Olthuis – Architect, WaterStudio


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Koen Olthuis as Keynote speaker at the 1st symposium of design for living with water

“A drop of water,
if it could write out its own history,
would explain the universe to us.”
Lucy Larcom

Water is the main life source for human being starting from birth. Throughout the history this vital element effected every field of life as well as the discipline of architecture and design, which have the mission to create comfortable and livable spaces for human. It is observed that apart from alternative living spaces to terrestrial architecture in traditional forms, during the recent years, the studies which include the analysis as to space hotels, floating spaces and effects of spatial characteristics of pole stations on the users have increased. One of the reasons for this, is that people’s need for alternative living spaces and resources has come up. The association of the concept of human-space-water is being considered together more frequent day by day.

In Recent years there is a growing focus on living with water due to the extreme climate changes, rising density, economical trends and sustainability problems. Scientist and futurists from all over the world are indicating the solutions for living with water and predict that the relationship between human and water will increase. Not only the countries which have the risk of flood, or rising sea levels, but also the other countries which has the probability of effecting by the climate changes are taking into consideration water based solutions. Also the flow of the capital and changing human life style requirements show us the water as an alternative living space.

Although the concept of living with water seems revolutionary the human relation with water is not a new trend. In the scope of this symposium, different integration types of water to spaces from the vernacular models to floating homes wil be discussed. As a respond to the world’s sustainability problems, from both economical, socio – cultural and also the ecological, we need to understand the importance of living with water. As the designers and engineers of the “climate change generation” we have the responsility to look at the past, present and the future and ask the opportunities of water that we could apply, inform and transform to our designs.

We invite designers, architects, engineers, sociologists, students and everyone who feel the need creating solutions sensitive to climate change and for sustainable future of the world on particulary design with water.


Koen Olthuis was one of the Keynote speakers of this 1st symposium hosted in Istanbul.

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Koen Olthuis as keynote speaker for Plan-B at Pakhuis de Zwijger

Koen Olthuis was one of the keynote speakers at the discussion at PlanB at Pakhuisdezwijger.  He mentioned the Arkup as one of the answers on rising seas in this experst discussion “solutions for sealevelrise”.

The sea level is rising. Although the Dutch have been used to fighting water for centuries and are experts in raising dikes and constructing world-famous delta works, we must also discuss the other scenario. Given that international climate agreements are failing, can we still keep the water out in the future? And if not, are we prepared for that?

Koen Olthuis @ Pakhuis de Zwijger

Click here for the website and program of Pakhuis de Zwijger

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