"Floating houses are popular ways of living in some parts of the world," reads the Arkup press release, "in particular the Netherlands, US West Coast cities and South-East Asia." I can't say I've visited the first two examples, but I've spent some time in the latter, and it seems a little tasteless to compare the humble bamboo houseboats of Cambodia to the floating luxury apartments these guys are selling.
Still, the concept seems neat for those who can pay to play. A self-contained, electric, double decker houseboat that can put down hydraulic legs to elevate itself out of the swells in water up to 20 feet deep. A liveable yacht that won't make anyone seasick, and that harvests its own rainwater from a roof that doubles as a 30-kilowatt solar array, feeding up to 1,000 kilowatt-hours worth of lithium batteries onboard.
It's got a built-in communications suite, with 4G, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi and VHF radio ready to rock, and its twin 136-horsepower electric azimuth thrusters can rotate 360 degrees to manoeuvre about the place or chug along at a sedate 7 knot top speed. The deck retracts when you're on the move, there's a boat lift to get your tender out of the water, and the sun deck can be fully immersed in water to become a protected sea-pool.
Arkup sees it as a way to have a future-proof luxury getaway you can park at a marina or anchor in a river or lake to give yourself a beautiful view no matter how high sea levels might rise. Oh, and it's ready to withstand the 155 mph winds of a category 4 hurricane, if recent events have got you thinking life on the coast might be a bit rough.
The 4,350 square foot interior design is sleek, modern and high end, and can be tailored to become a home, a vacation home, an event/party venue, a restaurant, a gym, a day spa or whatever else you can build a business case for.
That might be where this kind of design shines, as a kind of aquatic, self contained pop-up business. You'd have to charge like a wounded bull to recoup your costs, though, assuming this "liveable yacht" is as expensive as it looks.