Houseboat of the future is a $5.5 million floating mansion

Houseboat of the future is a $5.5 million floating mansion

MIAMI — Why let the rising sea sink your Miami lifestyle when you can go with the flow aboard the Arkup houseboat?

Arkup features the ingenious engineering feature of four hydraulic pilings that stabilize the vessel on the sea bottom or allow it to lift like a house on stilts above floodwaters, king tides and hurricane-whipped storm surges.

South Florida sea levels are projected to rise 6 to 12 inches by 2030, 14 inches to nearly three feet by 2060, and 31 inches to nearly seven feet by 2100, according to the Southeast Florida Climate Change Regional Compact Sea Level Rise Work Group. Miami Beach and the Keys may be inundated first, but the entire region is recognized as one of the most vulnerable on the planet.

In this brave new waterworld, Arkup wants to keep you high and dry on your floating home.

Noah, who constructed his ark to withstand 40 days and 40 nights of apocalyptic rain and Biblical flooding, would approve. He probably could not afford the modern version, which has a sticker price of $5.5 million, but he would like the comfort, spacious bathrooms and retractable swimming platform.

Arkup, solar-powered and equipped with a rainwater-collecting-and-purifying system, is a self-sustaining home, a green adaptation for our blue future.

“It’s more like a house than a boat, but you never lose the unmistakable feeling that you’re on the water,” said Nicolas Derouin, managing director of Arkup.

Arkup was designed and built in Miami by Derouin and Arnaud Luguet, two French engineers who live here and have a passion for the oceans and environmental preservation.

They have witnessed the impact of climate change and sea level rise in their adopted hometown and around the world. On Monday, Indonesia announced it will move its capital out of Jakarta, a swampy, flood-prone and drowning metropolis of 30 million people.

“It is happening before our eyes,” Derouin said. “Coastal areas are the most desirable but also the most at risk. Miami is implementing resiliency measures. We hope Arkup can be a small part of the solution.”

Derouin and Luguet were inspired by the Dutch floating communities of IJburg and Schoonschip.

“In the Netherlands, one third of the country is below sea level,” Derouin said. “They want to develop housing alternatives. Instead of fighting the water, live on it.”

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