A new world is forming, bobbing on the gentle currents of lakes and tropical lagoons. Peacefully ensconced in environmentally conscious surroundings, these dramatic structures are independent and self-sustaining, and could soon become a trending hospitality development that will change the face of tourism forever.
The current and existing floating residential market is composed mostly of real estate projects incorporating floating villas. And now a new design project called Beluga Concept has entered the market with a unique brand of Maritime Real Estate. New innovative solutions have now reduced costs while keeping the highest quality and safety for customers, and the designers have already found a way to reduce costs through innovative solutions without compromising the quality.
Many companies are currently working on floating projects with a real interest for future development in tourism. Floating hotels and artificial islands will start to appear everywhere around the world and are being fast-tracked for future approvals from Africa to the South Pacific.
I spoke with well-known concept designer Amédée Santalo with Beluga Concept and the designer of the stunning Floating projects, and he explained where he plans on launching his first floating island and villas. “The idea came a few years ago from Ethiopia, a landlocked country with lots of beautiful lakes. Nice five star resorts have already been built on lakes like Kuriftu in Debre Zeit and Lake Tana in Bahir Dar. One of the developers asked me to think about a solution to have luxury yachts on the lakes because the infrastructure of the country does not allow to bring nice yacht on lakes. So I thought of making something that could be delivered by containers and assembled on site. For a hotel room, we don’t need an engine which dramatically reduces the cost of the product, eco-friendly and no complication for the maintenance. This new luxury product was created specifically for remote places in Africa where we are in discussion with Kenya, Tanzania. Zanzibar, La Reunion Island, and Madagascar.”
Beluga Concept designs include a wide variety of hotel rooms and villas. Here are among my very favorites.
FLOATING HOTEL ROOMS
BELUGA 1900-600 is a yacht without an engine and a middle range project designed specifically for the hotel industry with a separate room and large kitchen. The inside living space includes 53.00 m2, outside living space is 52.00 m2. A beautiful suite with a separate bedroom and living room were included for extended families with a small additional room that can accommodate two children. A double door is designed between the master bedroom and guest bedroom each with their own bathroom.
BELUGA 3000-700 is a floating villa design featuring one master bedroom on top and two bedrooms on the main deck. All rooms include full en-suite bathrooms with a living space of 240 m². Energy for the villa is provided from solar panels, water treatment, and a desalinization plant according to the location for water supply with a full black water treatment system. The house is self-sufficient and can be delivered in 6 months with an estimated starting price of $600,000.
Imagine living in a giant aquarium with exotic fish swimming around you. Beluga Concept is currently working on underwater projects to offer the hospitality market new hotel possibilities. The planned Sea Star Hotel and Spa is designed to be placed in shallow water. The perfect location for such projects is on any crystal lagoon or artificial lake created for the purpose.
The Floating Diamonds Suite from Beluga Concept includes 151.5 m2 of living space with an underwater master suite and bathroom with dramatic view windows. The diamond shaped villas will have five anchors to ensure full stability and the bottom of the module will store the clean and dirty water which will create proper balance and even more stability.
Floating Islands is one of the biggest challenges today in the water real estate business. Beluga Concept has designed two kinds of islands, and they want to provide these for yacht owners or tourists looking for new sensations. The islands will be fully equipped including restaurants with some of them incorporating an underwater lounge bar. Sand, artificial grass and teak wood will cover the islands with a freshwater swimming pool. The first project is being designed for Alaqaryia Real Estate, a company based in Dubai.
Floating cities have been proposed by designers for years as researchers all over the world search for a solution to the expected effects of climate change and land scarcity. While the number of concept designs and designs for floating cities is remarkable, the actual implementation remains limited to small-scale renderings. The Seasteading Institute is now working on the first part of the implementation phase, by preparing a business case for the development of the first seastead.
Founded in 2017 by Seasteading Institute Executive Director Joe Quirk, as well as; a Belarusian businessman (Egor Ryjikov), a former Polynesian government minister (Marc Collins), and a French entrepreneur (Nicolas Germineau). Quirk and his team created a new company, Blue Frontiers, which will build and operate the floating islands in French Polynesia. They plan on having a group of structures by 2020 at the cost of about $60 million. The villas will feature green roofs, locally sourced woods, and recycled metal and plastic.
According to Blue Frontiers, “French Polynesia is one of the promising countries we are cultivating relationships with for stationing seasteads. It is a tropical country of 118 islands in the Pacific Ocean, where we have identified a variety of suitable locations. It is outside the hurricane belt, has modern cabled internet connections, and many airline links to major cities including Los Angeles and San Francisco.”
One of the companies main goals for 2019 is to identify a specific suitable location to take the project to. Among their current options are uninhabited locations, as well as others where they will establish mutually beneficial relationships with the local community. Earlier this year, the government of French Polynesia agreed to let the Seasteading Institute begin testing in its waters. Construction could begin soon, and the first floating buildings might be inhabitable in just a few years.