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Future Proof: Arkup Luxury “Boathouse”

By Rhapsody magzine

The Arkup #1 floating home is a US$5 million luxury boathouse investment against rising sea levels

For sale for US$5.5 million, the luxurious Arkup floating house should be the ultimate high net worth individual’s contingency plan against the looming spectre of rising sea levels

The Arkup No.1 Floating Home is not just a luxurious concept but a revolutionary one. Designed by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis of, Arkup is a unique floating home realised from Olthuis’s  philanthropic focus on future habitats and the challenges of rising sea levels and floods resulting from climate change as well as the needs of a booming world population.

The 4 bedroom (each equipped with its own en-suite bathroom) luxury “houseboat” is an off-grid “blue dwelling” and so you aren’t exactly “living on a yacht” – you get to enjoy all the creature comforts of landed real estate except that you’re living right on the water instead of a mere waterfront.

Ranked 122nd on TIME Magazine’s list of the most influential people in the world, Olthuis and his firm specialises in floating structures and homes. His own native Netherlands (through innovative use of dikes, Holland is built mostly on wetlands) with one-third reclaimed land and sits below sea-level so water-based issues are challenges that he has a unique perspective on. The Arkup No.1 or officially “Arkup #1” is a 75 ft (22.9m) long two-story luxury houseboat with 4,350 sq ft of space; the first edition floating home was furnished by Brazil’s Artefacto.

For sale for US$5.5 million, Olthuis’s luxurious Arkup floating house should be the ultimate high net worth individual’s contingency plan against the looming spectre of climate change. Unveiled at the recent Miami Ycaht Show, the Arkup #1 floating home boasts solar power, stabilizing hydraulic stilts, and its own engines. The hydraulic stilts are an innovating  self-elevating system can go down 20 feet to lift it above the waves, keeping you and your home safe in a storm. Suffice it to say, if you happened to be caught away from the shore during a storm or a calamitous tsunami event, the Arkup is a literally boathouse, it would just float on the mega waves. Arkup No. 1 is also designed to withstand a Category 4 hurricane (up to 250 km/h winds) and carries stories stored solar energy reserves in its 1,000 kWh battery pack for night time power needs as well as a rainwater collection system for moderate water self-sufficiency.

A pair of 100kW thrusters with 272 horsepower can move the Arkup #1 luxury boathouse up to seven knots, allowing high net worth individuals to flee some of the devastation should a climate disaster strike. Arkup livable yachts combine the best attributes of yachts, floating houses and waterfront villas, with the added benefits of being self-sufficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

#1 is for sale in Miami and there are plans to build three more in the next 12 months. There are also preliminary project plans for eco-resorts in the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean.

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Click here for the pdf Proposes Floating City Apps To Aid Slums Affected By Rising Sea Levels

Inhabitat, Bridgette Meinhold, Nov 2012, the leader in floating architecture, is now working on helping slums cope with climate change and rising sea levels with a collection of floating functions called City Apps. Slums are tight on space and many have grown up along the water and are at risk for rising sea levels.’s City Apps can provide critical infrastructure as needed. Whether the area needs additional safe housing, sewage treatment, more electricity or space to grow food, these modular and flexible units can serve as catalysts for change. The Netherlands-based studio was recently awarded the prestigious “Architecture & Sea Level Rise” Award 2012 from the Jacques Rougerie Foundation with their entry: App-grading Wet Slums.

Wet slums are slum communities that live in conjunction with the water and many occur around the world. The connection to the water also puts them at risk for climate change and rising sea levels. To aid these communities, has been researching how they can put their know-how of floating architecture to good use. They’ve come up with a series of flexible, adaptable City Applications or City Apps that can aid these communities now and in the event of disaster. With little space available inside the slum, the nearby water provides open space in which to add critical infrastructure to the community.

The City Apps consist of four different types of floating infrastructure designs that can provide food, water, shelter and energy. A floating field can be used as a large community garden to grow food for consumption in the slum or produce food that can be sold in the city. Floating sewage stations can provide potable water for drinking and help process waste to improve hygiene. Floating buildings can be used for additional housing or used as schools, clinics or community centers. Finally floating photovoltaic systems generate energy for the community.

In conjunction with the design of the City Apps, has been researching about 20 Wet Slums around the world and determining their characteristics. This fingerprinting of the slums will help leaders understand the needs of each community and more aptly be able to provide aid and support especially in the event of a disaster. hopes to partner with more organizations to spread their research and help these communities. Their work was recently awarded the “Architecture & Sea Level Rise” Award 2012 from the Jacques Rougerie Foundation.

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