Dubai’s Marasi Homes challenges the meaning of waterfront cities says U+A
A residential masterplan project by Dubai Properties, Marasi Water Homes is the first phase of a series of developments for the Dubai Canal.
According to Sasan Niknam, design manager at U+A, phase one consists of over 160 berths with arrays of palm tree planters sitting on the pontoon walkways, 10 floating villas, one floating dining outlet, one floating yacht club and two onshore adjacent plots that hold the reception and lounge spaces.
The homes were fitted with a smart technology home system, MEP, vacuum pump systems for sewage, as well as their own private yacht parking that’s adjacent to each home.
“Marasi Water Homes opens up a new residential typology in a way that we propose to make use of existing waterways and canals,” Niknam said. “In many European and North American cities, waterfront living is a very common development typology. We don’t always need to reclaim land to make more space, rather we can make use of the water in a smart way and make it accessible via floating platforms.”
Designed in Dubai, the project was manufactured and delivered in Finland by Admares. The structures were then shipped to Dubai and towed into place. “The way the project was built and delivered could be another milestone in the future development of smart cities,” added Niknam.
Marasi Water Homes are essentially no different to any on-shore design that’s placed on a floating steel pontoon. Similar to buildings that have basement floors for MEP equipment, the structures make the most of their steel base.
“The pontoon not only allows the structure to float, but it also houses the entire technical heart and brain of the project in a smart way,” said Niknam. We made use of every single corner and space.”
According to the design manager, the team faced a number of challenges in terms of water supply, sewer facilities, electricity and air conditioning. All items, he said, had to be customised and detailed to fit the project. Admares had a team of specialists involved to ensure the latest European technology was considered for the development.
“The air condition for instance is a sea water cooling system,” said Niknam. “And similarly, other components needed to be approved by the local authorities. In order to realise this project, a great team effort was required.”