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18 Unique hotels from around the world

The world geography, Sep 2013

Some travelers think that the place where you lay your head on the road is just that – a place to sleep, or change clothes. But there are some trips where the accommodations are the main attraction. To the more daring traveler, the flower-quilted double bed and lacquered furniture of a typical hotel room is just plain boring. For the intrepid, quirky and adventurous globetrotter, here are 18 unique hotels from around the world.


9. The Ocean Flower, Maldives

The Ocean Flower, a pioneering development that takes its name from a typical Maldivian flower, is the first of five spectacular oceanfront developments in the Maldives. The Masterplan “The 5 Lagoons” is being developed by Dutch Docklands International in a joint venture with the government of the Maldives.

All developments are uniquely located in the most upmarket part of the Maldives, the North Male atoll, only 20 minutes by boat from the capitol of Male and the international airport.

The Ocean Flower offers an array of amenities such as a pristine beach, restaurants, shops, a diving centre, a spa, swimming pools and small private islands where you can relax or enjoy a picnic in the gentle ocean breeze. The spacious oceanfront villas are fully furnished, have spacious terraces and a private plunge pool and are just a short boat ride away from the international airport.

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Nederlander wil drijvende steden aanleggen in VS

AD Haagshe Courant, Stijn Hustinx, Sep 2013

Een Nederlands bedrijf wil drijvende steden bouwen voor de kusten bij Miami en New York. Vandaag ontvouwt Dutch Docklands zijn plannen. ‘De bedoeling is dat nog dit jaar de eerste contracten worden ondertekend’, zegt Paul van de Camp van het bedrijf tegen het AD.

Dutch Docklands begint ‘klein’, vertelt Van de Camp aan het AD. ‘We hebben bij Miami net een meer van 75 hectare gekocht waar we zestien privé-eilanden willen aanleggen ter waarde van 200 miljoen dollar.’

‘Eilandfundering bestaat uit grote plateaus van schuim en beton’
Op termijn zou het concept kunnen uitgroeien tot compleet drijvende steden, met woningen, scholen, kantoren, winkelcentra en hotels. ‘In landen als Japan en Thailand bestaan drijvende steden al sinds mensenheugenis. Samen met onder meer TNO hebben we grote eilandfunderingen ontwikkeld. Het gaat om drijvende lichamen die bestaan uit grote plateaus van schuim en beton en die kun je zo veel als je wilt aan elkaar vastmaken. Dus of je nu één hotel op een klein drijvend eilandje wilt of een complete stad, het kan. Al zou ik het zeker niet simpel willen noemen. Het lastigste aspect is om de boel te stabiliseren.’

Naast kust Miami ook New York en New Jersey
Het Nederlandse bedrijf heeft niet alleen zijn oog laten vallen op de kustregio van het zonovergoten Miami, maar heeft zich ook gemeld in wereldstad New York en de staat New Jersey om daar drijvende eilanden te gaan bouwen. Plekken die vorig jaar nog hard werden getroffen door superstorm Sandy en het wassende water.

Het is niet zonder reden dat de Nederlanders zich juist hier melden. Op basis van recent onderzoek is een mondiale top 5 samengesteld van rijkste steden die het hardst getroffen zullen worden door de stijgende zeespiegel. Die werd eerder deze maand gepubliceerd door National Geographic. Op nummer 1 staat Miami, New York neemt de derde plek in op de ranglijst. Van de Camp zegt dat hij concrete gesprekken voert met instanties in Miami en New York. Hij verwacht dat nog dit jaar de eerste contracten worden ondertekend.

Minister Schultz van Haegen ook in New York
De ondernemer is niet de enige Nederlander die in de VS munt wil slaan uit de stijgende zeespiegel. Vandaag trappen minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructuur en Milieu) en haar Amerikaanse ambtsgenoot Shaun Donovan een tweedaagse conferentie in New York af, die gaat over kustbescherming.

Nederlandse bedrijven staan sinds superstorm Sandy vorig jaar toesloeg in de rij om New York te helpen te beschermen tegen het water. Dat gebeurde ook al in New Orleans, nadat orkaan Katrina daar in 2005 voor grote overstromingen had gezorgd.

Duurste golfbaan
Dutch Docklands wist een paar jaar geleden al de aandacht op zich te vestigen met de aankondiging van de duurste golfbaan ter wereld, ter waarde van 500 miljoen dollar (ruim 350 miljoen euro) bij de Malediven. Deze golfbaan omgeeft een drijvend stadje van enkele honderden woningen.

Hoewel er op papier al de nodige projecten zijn gelanceerd, krijgt het eerste nu ook echt concreet vorm bij de paradijselijke eilandengroep in de Indische Oceaan, die onder de zeespiegel dreigt te verdwijnen. Dutch Docklands gaat daar vijf lagoons ter grootte van de binnenstad van Delft volbouwen. De eerste wordt eind volgend jaar al opgeleverd.

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City apps

The petropolis of tomorrow, Neeraj Bhatia & Mary Casper, 2013

In recent years, Brazil has discovered vast quantities of petroleum deep within its territorial waters, inciting the construction of a series of cities along its coast and in the ocean. We could term these developments as Petropolises, or cities formed from resource extraction. The Petropolis of Tomorrow is a design and research project, originally undertaken at Rice University that examines the relationship between resource extraction and urban development in order to extract new templates for sustainable urbanism. Organized into three sections: Archipelago Urbanism, Harvesting Urbanism, and Logistical Urbanism, which consist of theoretical, technical, and photo articles as well as design proposals, The Petropolis of Tomorrow elucidates not only a vision for water-based urbanism of the floating frontier city, it also speculates on new methodologies for integrating infrastructure, landscape, urbanism and architecture within the larger spheres of economics, politics, and culture that implicate these disciplines.

Articles by: Neeraj Bhatia, Luis Callejas, Mary Casper, Felipe Correa, Brian Davis, Farès el-Dahdah, Rania Ghosn, Carola Hein, Bárbara Loureiro, Clare Lyster, Geoff Manaugh, Alida C. Metcalf, Juliana Moura, Koen Olthuis, Albert Pope, Maya Przybylski, Rafico Ruiz, Mason White, Sarah Whiting

Photo Essays by: Garth Lenz, Peter Mettler + Eamon Mac Mahon, Alex Webb

Research/ Design Team: Alex Gregor, Joshua Herzstein, Libo Li, Joanna Luo, Bomin Park, Weijia Song, Peter Stone, Laura Williams, Alex Yuen

Co-published with Architecture at Rice, Vol. 47

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Islands made of old bottles and floating mosques

Stylepark, Brita Kohler, Sep 2011

They call him the “The Floating Dutchman”. Koen Olthuis is known for his floating buildings and in 2002 teamed up with Rolf Peters to found the architectural company of “Waterstudio”, which focuses exclusively on this area. Their work is pioneering, for public perception must first change, and our eyes must first open to the possibility that a home on the water is equal to one on dry land and furthermore that such structures create open new doors in terms of urban planning.

The book “Float!” by Koen Olthuis and architectural journalist David Keuning provides a comprehensive insight into the concept of building on the water; “Float” being an abbreviation of “Flexible Land On Aquatic Territory”. Depending on the project and the user, a floatable structure can be easily moved to a new location, leaving behind no traces of its being there. Thus a development doesn’t necessarily have to be demolished, but actually has the opportunity to live its full service life. These floating structures avoid the risk of flooding, by naturally rising and falling with the tides. A prerequisite for this is however responsible water management.

Opening the front cover of “Float!” you expect to encounter a colorful world of images with numerous project examples – both completed and in planning. And there are such examples included, but in addition over the nine chapters the authors also delve into analysis of international metropolises, outline their own visions for an extension of the city out onto the water as well as those for large-scale structures on the open sea. The considerations range from de-polderization to combat rising sea-levels in the Netherlands, to solutions for expanding metropolises onto the water, to artificial islands to aid the flood-threatened Maldives.

The presentation of the social, political, technological and economic factors that influence urban planning in one way or another here is impressive. As new, flexible urban building blocks, the floating structures provide answers to many of the resultant problems. In the face of climate change and a shortage of resources, the floating buildings offer sustainable solutions which enable the continuous expansion of cities and simultaneously provide their dwellers with green spaces, fresh water, food and energy.

The different projects are documented like anecdotes, such as “Spiral Island”, an island floating on recycled plastic bottles created by an eco-pioneer from Britain who migrated to South America. Or a floating mosque in Dubai, which according to plans by Waterstudio.NL is to be operated using just solar panels and water cooling systems, with no connection to the mainland at all.

“Float!” is visually appealing and clearly arranged. Now and again, the sketches are not as legible as they might be as the print colors fail to do them justice. It would have been nice if many of the pictograms or plans had been reproduced on a larger scale, and the passages of text a little more condensed. Even though the book in question cannot be interpreted as a detailed planning atlas and is instead definitely full of inspiration and motivation for architects of the “Climate-Change Generation”, using sophisticated and sustainable concepts to counter the ever-growing space requirements. But it must be said, the construction prices for building on water are high, while acceptance within society is low; however, the possibilities and new freedoms afforded by floating constructions are immense and the technological requirements are within our reach. There is no question, it is time to head back to the Netherlands, to discover innovative forms of living and be inspired.

By Koen Olthuis and David Keuning
Hardcover, 304 pages, English
Frame Publishers, Amsterdam, 2010
49.90 euros

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Floating Islands Golf Course Trend and the Green Future Awaiting Them

The New Ecologist

The majority of people would have never thought that golf courses will look any different from the look they have nowadays.

Well… in this case they never heard about the upcoming projects that seem to revolutionize the traditional concept of golf, and add a whole new aspect to it.

One of the most spectacular golf courses that already have a concept design is said to be built in the Maldives. This region is best known for the underwater life that it has, and this is exactly what the designers will take advantage of.

Their purpose is to create a floating golf course with 18 holes that would be connected through underwater tunnels. The budget of this project is of about $500 million.

To realize the golf course there will be several artificial islands built, each of them having 2-3 holes. It is important about the course that it will have no footprint on the environment. This is only possible because it is said to have some special techniques of water cooling, use of solar energy and sweet water collection through desalination while floating on salty water.

The new course would be located only five minutes away from the Male International Airport. After the course will be built, the creators would like to design luxury accommodation that would also be connected via underwater tunnels.

The accommodations will overlook the golf course and the coral reefs getting the visitors in touch with the beauty of underwater world. The project is supposed to be finished in 2015.

The creators of the project expect the tourism in the Maldives to boost because the majority of golf fans would like to visit this course, preferably several times. The new project is also said to help the economy of the country.

A similar project has been already created in Idaho. The Coeur d’Alene Golf and Spa Resort is known for the floating island it has. This is the first thing that the visitors observe from the parking lot.

The golf course has 14 holes, and four of them can be found on the island. There is another famous hole, the fifth, which is blocked by a hulking rock. For this the players need a high tee to be able to shoot over the rock.

Another thing that the course is really well known for is the service that it offers. There are numerous golf carts that have mahogany paneling and heated leather seats. In order to get to the island, there is water taxi that would get you there.

As you might see, the game of golf has become a lot more lately, than it has been at the beginning. In our days it isn’t that important to play and score, but to brag about the places that you have visited. If those places are closer to the environment than ever the beauty they carry is admired even more.

You can be sure that in case you tell your friends that you have been at one of these places, they will be surprised and you will get the opportunity to tell them all about the trip. The green touch will make the golf even more popular and the perspective of such projects makes this elegant sport a flag ship for the natural welfare.

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Floating islands project will diversify Maldivian fame

Miadhu News, Abdul Latheef

Creating floating islands will bring much advancement to the country- Paul van de Camp

The CEO Paul van de Camp of Dutch Docklands of the Netherlands has said that the development of artificial floating islands, which will include a convention center and golf courses in Male’ Atoll will bring Maldives much advancements.

Speaking to Miadhu Daily, Paul said that this remarkable venture will not only benefit the investing company but would certainly bring a positive impact to the local economy and add a new assortment to the tourism industry. He also added that having thrilling and fantasy islands will be having a boost on the tourism of the worldly paradise.

Dutch Docklands CEO also said that this megaproject will diversify the Maldivian fame in the outside world apart from the economical benefits.

The Maldivian government last Thursday signed a contract with Dutch Docklands to develop five floating islands which will include a convention center and golf courses.

The government now have leased five shallows of Male’ Atoll for the project for a period of 5o years.

Designed by the world renowned award winning architect Koen Olthuis of Waterstudio.NL, the people who built the Citadel floating apartment complex, the renderings for the amphibious convention center island will appear depict star-shaped, tiered islands with indoor spaces hidden under lush green-roof terraces, complete with interior pools and beaches.

Paul said that he is certain that this environmental friendly artificial convention center island will attract the many international environmental conventions and conferences.

One of the shallows will be incorporated with 280 rooms in the shape of 4 rings while the other shallow will be built with state of the art golf courses which will attract untapped markets from around the globe. Having this enthralling golf course will be icing on the cake for Maldivian tourism, said Paul.

“This project will cost more than 500 million dollars. The government of Maldives will not have to spend a single cent for the investment. We have agreed for the project because we have full certainty that this project will be a huge success. We can market, its certain,” he said.

Paul said that the whole project will be completed in 2015. CEO of Dutch Docklands also said that the government of Maldives will hold a five percent share of Dutch Docklands Maldives Pvt Ltd.

Minister of Tourism Dr. Mariyam Zulfa told Miadhu Daily that this venture by the Dutch Docklands company of the Netherlands will be a visionary accomplishment of the government for the advancement of Maldives and the country’s tourism industry.

CEO Paul highlighted that the Dutch Dockland is a company offering the floating technology with years of experience and this deal would be a good investment to Maldives, especially to diversify the tourism industry.

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