The Floating Seahorse is essentially a boat and a submarine without any propulsion designed and presented by Kleindienst Architects in The Dubai International Boat Show in March 2015. It is made of three levels, the first is underwater, the second on water level and the third one is an upper deck. An artificial coral reef is to be created below it, where, according to the architects, the endangered Arabic seahorse will find its home again and give people the chance to admire it in all its glory.
Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

What makes this different than most architectural projects is that it entered the era of mass-production. Something we have seen in architecture before, and especially on housing complexes and projects, but never as unique as this. Wealthy buyers and private developers have already purchased thirty-five of the forty-two boats, valued just over €1.5 million.

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

At Dubai we firstly saw the group of islands that create the form of a palm tree, then came the islands that form the world map, and another two groups of islands are already under construction at the Dubai’s Persian Gulf waterfront. The city is really taking over the Gulf and changing forever the way people use it now and in the future. The Floating Seahorses are yet another futuristic idea coming to life in the waters of the Persian Gulf.

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

Furthermore, like everything else in Dubai, this has a purpose as well. The buyers of these floating barges are to populate the deserted islands of “The World” group of islands. So, in the end the €1.5 million is not enough as you have to include an island on the package. But to be fair, the people able to afford this leisure boat, can most definitely afford an island or two.

Some characteristics of it are that the master bedroom and bathroom are totally submerged underwater, while the upper floor will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, giving the kitchen, dining and living room majestic views of the vast plain. The upper deck is comprised by a jacuzzi and small bar and kitchen. All these are all nice and shiny and looking at the images the majority of the population sees this as a dream object of possession. Do we really want to get rid of people and send them off to live in the water?

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

Courtesy of Kleindeinst Architects

As architects, our goal should be to bring the people together through public spaces, and areas where the difference between social classes is not greatly visible. It should be to make the world a fair and better place, and not to make the gap even bigger. On the other hand, this is Dubai, and this has been going on for decades now. It has grown in a city of power, wealth and control. A city affordable by a few. For the rest is just a blurry vision.

By Andreas Leonidou

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