Extreme designer Donald Starkey’s latest project was meant to redefine the meaning of the word “home”. Ok, so he lopped an “h” off it to start, but “Ome” is more than a floating villa for the superrich; it’s a self-sustainable mini paradise than can be towed around the water at will.
Created as a solution to for the alleged “frustrated owners” of the beleaguered ‘The World’ project, comprising a proposed 300 island artificial archipelago construction some 4km off the Dubai coastline, which has been beset by problems. The Ome can be moved with the help of a barge to any country in The World at whim, which seems a rather grand way of globetrotting.
Built as a double-decker disk with an external skin for structural support, the main deck has a central 10 metre seawater swimming pool encircled by en-suite bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and lounge – all looking through beautifully curved full-height glass out to the entertainment and lounging space with blue sea beyond. Below, the centre circle accommodates further guests and staff alongside a cinema, games room, sauna and steam room with changing facilities. Meanwhile the outer circle houses the business end of things including generator, tankage rooms and technical space.
In total the disk spans a 32 metre diameter with total usable living space being more than 1,400 square metres – pretty vast. The idea is that the Ome is sold fully furnished and equipped with customisable interiors to craft to taste. Not only will it meet the design standards of The World’s developer, Nakheel, but the Ome will also align with maritime law making it moveable courtesy of a planned facilities management company offering Ome owners a tow.
“Self-sustainable” is the key buzz phrase when you consider Donald Starkey’s design. The Ome auto- provides water, waste management and irrigation support to the World Island that it links to. All waste will be treated and photovoltaic panels on the roof will generate enough power to keep the 32,000kw of potential demand – up to six complete large households onshore – satisfied.
Although Dubai was the inspiration, where conventional dry land construction had almost ground to a halt in the wake of the global crisis, the Ome design could be rolled out to any coastal location with Abu Dhabi and Qatar next in Starkey’s sights.
Rumour has it that an Ome would dent between 17 and 20 million euros into your bank account, take 22 months to build and have a lifespan of 50 years – about the same as a superyacht. Wonder how long it would take to recoup the outlay in energy bill savings…