Home away from land

Published: February 22, 2015 12:13:19 AM

Italian yacht designer Christian Grande has come up with the concept of a ‘floating village’ that incorporates a modular and sustainable design

THIS COULD, well, change the way we look at residential villas. Italian yacht designer Christian Grande, known best for his award-winning yacht designs, has recently come up with the idea of a ‘floating village’. Dubbed Abifloat, the project features a collection of floating homes that incorporate modular and sustainable design.

Abifloat features a cluster of 10 homes measuring 6.5 m x 3.25 m (21 ft x 11 ft) that branch off a central boardwalk. Each individual building can be personalised inside and out due to a modular system and the load bearings can support a two-level structure. By simply aligning a series of the clusters together, one can easily create a floating village, resort, mall or even an on-the-water office hub.

Christian Grande Design Works, the yacht designer’s company, calls it “living in nature, without borders”. “These are the axioms that were the starting points for ‘Abifloat’, whose characteristics feature the possibility of customising the external and internal spaces, with endless possibilities of modular expansion from single studios to veritable villages on several levels. All designed to float on the water and fit in with the surrounding landscape,” the website further claims.

Taking advantage of the water front views, the design options include floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, which join the living space to an outdoor deck. Other modules include a rooftop terrace, outdoor dining and/or private lounge areas. Each floating home has a private entrance, modular furnishings and mooring for a boat.

The technology behind the Abifloat concept features load bearings made from aluminum posts and stringers, buoyancy reserves, sandwich wall technology made from recycled plastic, and thermal insulation made from lightweight straw, cork or chipboard honeycombed baffles.

Each exterior is clad with attractive teak panels and features a flat aluminum roof, complete with solar panels. The home’s flooring has been designed to house electrical and plumbing systems such as pumps, compressors and waste holding tanks, alongside hollow sections to offer thermal and acoustic insulation.

With the infinite water bodies surrounding the houses, the villas are structurally consistent, sporting custom furnishing designs in the interiors. With the environment as a pivotal concern, the houses are designed with a reverse buoyancy technology that maintains lightweight floatation on water. The designer also ensures extreme comfort, irrespective of the climatic changes outside.

These villas are environmentally well-matched and pose no threat to marine life, claims Grande. They are easily transferrable on land via a trailer. These villas may soon become the perfect way to spend a vacation by the beach.

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