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SA architects design a floating villa – selling for R450 million

Two South African firms have designed a new line of luxury floating villas, that will cost around R450 million each. The villas should be ready to take to the water at the end of 2021.

Cape Town-based firms, SAOTA and ARRCC, were enlisted by leading high-end "marine housing" company, the Finnish group ADMARES. ADMARES has developed a range of floating hotels and villas, and holds the title for constructing the world’s largest floating villa, with 6,000 square meters of floor space spread across three floors, including jacuzzis and outdoor terraces.

Some of the company's other floating villas can be found in the Dubai Canal, including at the foot of the world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel.

SAOTA and ARRCC together designed a floating villa prototype that spans two floors and have six bedrooms, a “pyjama lounge”, and a swimming pool. Plants and water features will adorn the structures façade to give it a tropical island feel.

SAOTA has designed the floating villa to feature natural materials like textured timbers and a split rock face exterior. Interior designers, ARRCC, have included elements of bronze, marble and mirror to maximise reflection of the surrounding ocean.

Large rectangular windows, which stretch the length of the structure, allow the floating to villa to fill with natural light. Curved furniture and fittings seek to mimic the ocean’s natural ripples.

These floating villas can be docked at any waterfront location, where walkways are connected to the mainland. While these structures are not intended for the open sea, ADMARES claims to have perfected the art of self-sufficiency which allows the villa to float, unencumbered, in calm ports.

The floating villa is solar powered and includes sea water cooling systems, used to circulate cool air when it’s hot, and solar thermal collectors, to heat the interior when outdoor temperatures drop. Sewage treatment and potable water production plants are incorporated into the structure’s hull. When docked at a port, the villa can be connected to grid power.

“These floating villas are made available for real estate developers around the world… the concept is not country specific but a global product,” explains Joni Rantasalo, the director of marketing at ADMARES.

“We are aiming to have the first construction agreements in hand during 2021. These luxury villas will sell starting from $30 million [R450 million) depending on development location and customisation level.”

SAOTA director Philip Olmesdahl says it was an exciting project.

“The idea is to provide a villa which can adapt to reflect the character and taste of the owner, while still retaining the expansive character and ease of living that SAOTA is best known for,” says Olmesdahl.


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