Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

The floating community gets Grande Design

Published on March 17, 2015 by   ·   No Comments

Award-winning yacht designer, Christian Grande, has just announced his latest floating ‘Grande design’ – ABIFLOAT. Bigger and bolder than the yachts that have preceded it, this is a whole village composed of modular, sustainable floating villas.

As waterside land and sea-view properties are in limited supply, they are highly valued and can be extremely expensive.

Economics dictate that when waterside space starts to become scarce, frontline inevitably becomes in-front-of frontline, and people turn to accommodation on the water to enjoy the best of both worlds.

The idea of floating villages is not a new one, there are communities all over the world where houseboats have ground to a halt, anchors have been put down and bit by bit the homes became more ‘house’ than ‘boat’.

In the US, like so many things, they do it bigger and better than the rest of us.

In Seattle and San Francisco there are floating communities that have been there since the ’60s, but they’re no longer barges full of guitar-toting hippies, they now boast wine cellars, solariums and all the other trappings of wealth that one would expect in a landlubber’s frontline ‘house’ – and they have the multimillion dollar price tags to match.


So, with property prices rocketing in riverside and seaside locations, it’s unsurprising that designers are looking to take the idea of the floating community and expand on it.

Christian Grande trained at Modena School of Car Design and has an impressive portfolio of yacht designs for Sacs, Sanlorenzo, Sessa Marine, and most recently Invictus Yachts, which we wrote about last month -.

However Grande has never been ‘just’ a yacht designer, he has an eclectic portfolio including cars, bicycles, aeroplane luggage racks, and has won awards for his range of child car seats.



In Grande’s ABIFLOAT, the individual modules are 6.5 by 3.25 metres, slightly larger than a standard 20ft shipping container (which is 5.9 by 2.3 metres). They are designed so they can be linked ad-infinitum horizontally and stacked two-high vertically to form cities of two-storey houses.

The walkways, quays and bridges are all formed from the same linkable modules, which are hollow to enable cabling and plumbing to pass through them from house to house. The hollow floors have the added bonus of great thermal and acoustic insulation.

The units themselves are far from utilitarian and can be kitted out according to the owners’ specifications. To take advantage of their location, they are equipped with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass sides that open onto the outside decks and terraces. Each living unit is also equipped with a private mooring.

The size of the individual modules means they are easily transportable by lorries and trailers on land. However, potentially, they could be self-propelled by adding outboard motors and thrusters to the units.


The possibilities are endless; riverside houses, port offices, romantic floating retreats, waterside hotels or whole modular marina villages.

So if you’re on the market for a room with a view, without the million-dollar price tag, ABIFLOAT could be just the thing you’re looking for.



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