Luxury living, floating homes, and smart home technologies don’t necessarily go hand in hand.
However, a Panama-based business called Ocean Builders, which specializes in cutting-edge marine technology, has just shown a fleet of “revolutionary dwelling pods” that manage to combine all three.
The pods, which vary in price from around $295,000 to $1.5 million and are being built at the Linton Bay Marina on Panama’s north coast, are being dubbed the “world’s first eco-restorative residences.”
The three models available include the flagship model, the SeaPod, built for aquatic living, the GreenPod, designed for use on land, and the EcoPod, an environmentally and economically responsible choice. They were all created by Dutch architect Koen Olthuis and his team at Waterstudio.
One of three forthcoming pod models from the Panama-based company Ocean Builders is the Seapod, according to a rendering.
In order to address the lack of space in well-liked beach resorts, Ocean Builders’ head of engineering Rüdiger Koch and CEO Grant Romundt came up with the idea for the Seapod. The three and a half-story elevated house offers 833 square feet (73 square meters) of living space, including a master bedroom, living area, kitchen, and bathroom. The two-person unit floats 7.5 feet (2.2 meters) above the waves using over 1,688 cubic feet of air-filled steel tubes. It has 575 square feet of panoramic windows with 360-degree ocean views. .
In addition to allowing residents to live on the water without having to give up the “luxuries of modern living,” Romundt thinks the design will challenge perceptions about housing and travel.
According to Romundt, “when you live on the sea, it’s usually on a boat, which has a living environment that is unattractive to most people.”
We therefore created a floating house that gives you an even richer experience than living on land.
Modern technology will be included in the pods, along with applications that may be customized to fit the needs of the people using them.
Residents will be able to unlock doors and turn on their music with the wave of a hand thanks to special “smart rings” that they will be wearing in the meanwhile.
According to Romundt, “If [technology company] Apple had created a house, I imagine you would wind up with the SeaPod, the GreenPod, or the EcoPod.” The homes feature a lot of technology. I prefer to imagine it as your home acting as your own digital assistant, which you can use to organize your life rather of having a phone as one.
The pods will originally be situated near to the Linton Bay Marina. When they are certain that the technology can be sustained abroad, the Ocean Builders team hopes to be able to distribute them globally.
Romundt, a longtime proponent of beachside living, had resided in a floating home in Toronto and claims it’s a difficult lifestyle to emulate.
Being able to get up in the morning, go downstairs, hop on a paddleboard, and go for a paddle, he says, is just just fantastic.
It’s incredibly serene and lovely. The majority of people daydream about their two-week getaway to a tropical island where they can hang out, relax, regenerate, and replenish themselves during the entire year. So why not simply continue living that way year-round? The ability to work remotely is now so simple.
The team doesn’t particularly have a certain kind of consumer in mind, according to Romundt, although individuals who choose to live in one of these particular units will probably need to have a sense of adventure and a love of water.
In fact, he is certain that the majority of people who have the chance to use the Seapod even for a short period of time will be eager to purchase one.
Every single visitor who came to my floating house in Toronto, he recalls, “fell in love with the location.
“So all I have to do is convince folks to spend five minutes on a Seapod. Your mind will simply be blown by the experience. It’s very amazing.”
But what about everyday tasks like grocery shopping and getting back and forth between the pod and the mainland?
Customized airborne delivery drones will be used to distribute “daily minor products,” including food and medicine, according to Romundt.
There is a separate autonomous vessel for larger cargo that will also serve as an ocean recycling vehicle, collecting trash and waste to keep the environment clean.
Dinghy boats, jet skis, neighborhood water taxis, as well as residents’ and guests’ own boats or vehicles, can be used to get to and from the SeaPod.
There is a 1,250 square foot storage area inside, despite the fact that they appear to be designed toward people who are more minimalist in their outlook.
The pods have been developed with an emphasis on sustainability “to improve the surrounding ecosystem” and offer “a natural home for ocean creatures to dwell and thrive.”
Romundt continues, “We’re attempting to develop and design a home that is beneficial for the environment, and doesn’t hurt the ecosystem.
Additionally, we constantly look for methods to improve upon what we do. Despite the fact that we’re not yet ideal, we’re attempting to get better and better all the time.”
The first finished pods will be made public online in late September, and prospective buyers will be able to visit and see them in person shortly after that.
Romundt explains, “People have been trying to buy them for years, but we chose not to take deposits until people could actually see the pods in person.”
“This is a brand-new experience. People invest money in a lot of real estate projects, yet many never materialize. Prior to individuals being able to descend and enter a pod, we didn’t want to accept deposits. I’m happy that we have reached that stage at last.
It’s going to be a big job. Two years ago, I had the desire to have it finished. However, the fact that it was completed in just three and a half years is quite remarkable.
The Floating Seahorse, a development by Kleindienst Group consisting of 131 floating villas that will be part of a $5 billion mega-resort, is another new concept for floating homes that is expected to debut in the coming years. The Seapods are among them. A project called Heart of Europe on the world artificial archipelago off the coast of Dubai.
If all goes according to plan, those who purchase one of the first 100 Ocean Builders pods will be able to move in by the end of 2023.
1,000 additional pods are expected to go into production by 2024.