Is the Arkup 75 a house? A boat? It’s actually both, but somehow the term “houseboat” doesn’t quite do it justice. Netherlands-based architects Waterstudio.NL have created a gloriously hard-to-define, entirely solar-powered, two-story luxury villa that can either sail or moor at a dock like a yacht, or—here’s the fun part—stand elevated on land or in shallow water, on legs that drop down from its belly.
Waterstudio founder Koen Olthuis says the concept was inspired by the way flamingoes stand on one leg in water, with their bodies entirely clear of it. The Arkup 75’s hybrid boat-bottom/extendable stilts foundation allows it to do this too, creating the ultimate upgrade to the tropical overwater vacation bungalow. Designed for Florida-based superyacht company Arkup, the 75 is the picture of sustainability. A solar array covers the entire roof, generating enough power for all the boat’s systems, including propulsion and even air conditioning. This, combined with the solar-powered rainwater filtration system, allows the 75 to stay completely off-grid and net-zero carbon. And then there’s the sailing. Since there’s no fuel combustion, the boat moves through water completely silently, and without vibration, at speeds of up to 5 knots. Thrusters that rotate up to 180 degrees allow for easy navigation.
The Arkup 75 was designed to facilitate sustainable enjoyment of the ocean, and it does so (ahem) swimmingly. The open-rectangle form of the outer shell frames the view of the ocean like a picture, and the slide-out balcony, solar-powered boat lift, and floating swim decks provide easy access to the water itself. Ultimately, adds Olthius, the off-grid, large-scale floating architecture technology Waterstudio has developed will be quite useful as the world grapples with rising water levels, since it will facilitate much-needed high-density floating housing. This, in fact, has been one of Waterstudio’s main objectives for almost two decades. Pricing ranges from about $2.3 million for a bare-bones model to $5.5 million for a full-featured option with furniture and all the bells and whistles.
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