Part villa, part yacht, Arkup offers entirely sustainable living on the water, says Cecile Gauert
This waterfront villa with floor-to-ceiling windows and Artefacto furniture moves silently at seven knots, requiring no fuel and producing zero emissions. Miami-based startup Arkup, which imagined and built this self-sustainable waterfront dwelling (designed by Dutch architecture firm Waterstudio.NL), calls it a “liveable yacht”.
Made of composite-clad steel and hurricane-resistant glass, the 23-metre-long, two-storey villa was designed for partially protected waters and is meant to operate in shallow depths. One of the major differences from traditional yachts is the anchoring system: four 12.2-metre hydraulic legs allow anchoring in six metres of water and make the house impervious to waves. “Nobody will have issues with motion sickness,” says Nicolas Derouin, Arkup’s CEO.
The company built its first chic, beach-inspired four-bedroom villa with 400 square metres of living space, plus a terrace that recedes under the hull. “We wanted to integrate indoor and outdoor spaces to give people the ultimate lifestyle on the water and a chance to bond with marine life,” says Derouin who, like co-founder Arnaud Luguet, has an engineering background and is passionate about the ocean, urban planning and sustainability.
One of Arkup’s greatest assets is that it is self-sufficient. Solar panels and batteries run the air conditioning, lights, appliances and the electric thrusters when the time comes to move on. It captures rainwater, has abundant storage for fresh, grey and black water and is wired for an optional high-tech water treatment plant for releasing water back into the environment.
The first Arkup villa, listed for sale at $5.5 million (£4.3m) fully furnished, was anchored off Star Island during the Miami Yacht Show, where it attracted plenty of attention. “Miami is a great place to start this project because it is a coastal city threatened by sea level rise,” says Derouin, who has fielded enquiries from people seeking everything from a mobile beach house, a new toy and a waterfront residence to hospitality companies looking to develop eco resorts.