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Dubai Developer Offers Underwater Villas

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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For the prospective homeowner whose finances are going swimmingly, a Dubai developer is offering villas that offer a decidedly different perspective.

Dubai Seahorse Villas

Villas in the Floating Seahorse development are priced at $2.7 million apiece. A total of 131 floating abodes are expected to be built by the end of 2017.

The Kleindienst Group is constructing luxury floating villas, all hidden partially underwater, in its Floating Seahorse development. The abodes are clustered a few miles off Dubai’s coast in a grouping of islands called the Heart of Europe.

Pricey Proposition

Owning one will require a lot of liquid capital: The villas are priced at $2.7 million apiece.

A total of 131 floating residencies are expected to be built by the end of this year.

“Many months of research, design and planning have gone into "The Floating Seahorse," and we are excited to be able to officially launch and build it in Dubai,” Kleindienst Group CEO Josef Kleindienst notes. “We are confident that it will set a new benchmark in the luxury lifestyle market worldwide for outstanding innovation, contemporary design and underwater living at its best.”

"This is an original idea: To have a boat villa with a submerged floor where you can experience the feeling of stepping down into the master bedroom, be in contact directly with the walls, and see the reef, the marine life all around you. You're surrounded by it," project's architect Gianfranco Rasile says.

Unique Features

  • Of course, a floating house has plenty to explore:
  • The master bedroom is lower than the water’s surface. The windows—269 square feet in width but only 9.5 centimeters thick—provide a panoramic view of the Persian Gulf’s aquatic wildlife.
  • Artificial coral reef will encircle the structures, helping to nurture the endangered seahorse population.
  • Each villa has two outdoor decks. One is at water level; the other is on the second floor.
  • Each home has three levels. The main floor has an outdoor shower, kitchen and glass-bottomed Jacuzzi.
  • The abodes are anchored about five feet off the seabed. This allows natural, up-and-down movement with the tide that can’t be detected.

Material Concerns

Finding the proper materials to withstand the unique demands placed on a structure that is partially submerged was of paramount importance.

Rasile said the windows couldn’t be glass, which won’t hold up under constant water pressure. He and his team toured aquariums and submarines, and discovered acrylic has the durability to withstand the corrosive effects of salt water.

Dubai Seahorse Villas

The master bedroom is lower than the water’s surface. The windows—269 square feet in width but only 9.5 centimeters thick—provide a panoramic view of the Persian Gulf’s aquatic wildlife.

"The Arabian Sea is very salty so we're really restricted in the material we can use," Rasile says. "Inside, if you look at the material we're using—it's teak and marble. You have to use materials that can resist the temperature and the salt in the atmosphere."

Kleindienst says he’s afraid of the ocean, but he has been dreaming of these underwater retreats for more than 30 years. The view from the safety of an underwater lair is what drove him to pursue the project.

"I never go diving, or swimming even, but I have always been interested to see what's under the sea—and why [people] go around the world to dive," he says.


Tagged categories: Architecture; Building materials; Design; Design build; Exotic wood; Residential Construction

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