Introduction - Dubai Floating Island Project in Progress - Designer

(Kerim Tapkan) #1


My name is Kerim Tapkan and I am a Naval Architect and Ocean Engineer.

I wanted to introduce myself to the Seasteading community for my past experience with designing and building floating structures.

You may have heard about The Heart of Europe Project at The Dubai World Islands. The project consists of 6 islands and floating structures, and currently under construction, due for 2020 as a holiday resort.

What makes it interesting is the floating structures that will be the first in the world from many ways.

I worked for the project for about 2 years as the lead designer of floating structures and Sr. Project Manager for the construction.

1- Floating Seahorses : Floating villas with underwater accommodation. 2 bedrooms underwater with 90mm thick 5mx3m acrylic windows on both sides, coral gardens attached in front of each window which gives an awesome underwater view in your bedroom. Design stage is complete and mass production of 152 villas ongoing.

2- Floating yacht club : A yacht club similar to YAcht club de Monaco in Monte Carlo, free floating. Concept design is complete, Detail design underway. Underwater restaurants, bars etc.

3- Floating Venice Island : At a size of 300m x 140m, completely free floating, with a concept design of Venice. Detail design underway. Consists of 2 levels underwater for hotel rooms, conference halls, ballrooms etc. Artificial beaches, private beaches for villas on the island, a unique and innovative design.

4- Floating gardens : Some trials been successfully done. From simple floating single Palm trees to much larger floating landscapes.

5- Seabed reclamation : Seabed is being developed as coral garden. Me and our marine biologists developed new methods to grow coral fast in our coral nurseries. Also a state of the art marine biology lab is setup for developing the most effective methods and selecting the best species for the environment.

6- Marine construction works : Dredging, seawalls and massive construction works.

7- Excavated drydock for building the large floating concrete structures. Using sheetpiles, areas reserved for construction are sealed from the sea and excavated to the required depth. Water continuously pumped out and structured are built on a -5m concrete base. Launching method is easy, stop the pumps, float the units.

8- A dedicated team of naval architects for R&D.

9- Many awards won, e.g. UAE innovation award 2017.

10- Whole project from concept design to construction and launching is filmed and documented by Discovery Channel, which selected the project one of 4 incredible builds in the world. Not to mention many TV channels special filmings.

11- Customized systems, shore facilities, floating facilities for Services. All developed and engineered from scratch to suit the project requirements.

12- Customized automation system and software for home and mep services.

13- And many more daily innovations that I can’t remember to overcome the unique challenges.

I would like to contribute to the Seasteading Institute with the vast experience and engineering know-how. Please feel free to contact me for further discussions.

I can share visual material if requested. Or you may check where you can only find marketing material.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Kind Regards,
Kerim Tapkan

(Kerim Tapkan) #2

I forgot to tell about myself :slight_smile:

I am actually a yacht designer. I designed superyachts up to 52m in length for several boatbuilders. Expertise in composites structural design and production, as well as aluminum, steel and wood. Also worked as Project Manager and Production Manager for several shipbuilding projects.

I was working for a Classification Society in Abu Dhabi as Head of Plan Approval Department, when Heart of Europe approached us to certify the floating structures. But there were no applicable Class Rules at the time for these floating vessels. Even, the maritime authority was not even sure if there were vessels that can be registered. I developed the world’s first Class Rules dedicated to large floating structures with underwater accommodation and permanently moored. Rules consists of design principles, functional requirements, operational requirements, maintenance requirements and a certification scheme that defines the annual and renewal survey requirements etc.

Since I wrote the rules, company approached me to actually be the lead designer and start an engineering consultancy office to design and develop the floating villas and floating islands. That’s when I began with the concepts and hydrostatic, stability calculations to define the best materials and geometry, as well as the structural requirements. Things went well and we went for mass production after successful launch of the 2nd prototype with concrete hull and aluminum superstructure, with a specialized ballast system.

Anyway, this is how I got into designing and building these large floating structures.

Just a bit of background info. Let me know if I can be of any help.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #3


Hello and Welcome.

I have a couple of questions for you …

i am nautilusmaker®

• Is that your design ?
• Are you part of the Kleindienst Group ?
• 152 Villages - in what phase is the project ?
• Cost per real estate square meter ?
• Can you give us some info on the building technology used ?
• Is that 680m USD budget you tout (sep.11.2017) on media real ? | The Floating Venice |


Welcome to the forum. @joequirk and @RandolphHencken do not spend much time visiting the forum and are busy with the Blue Frontiers project for French Polynesia. I am sure they would be interested in your experience and expertise.

The forum has a lot of well informed, partially developed ideas, not access to actual Naval Architects, or Marine Engineers. The vast majority of us, despite commitment and even advanced work on some designs, simply cannot afford the costs to have designs properly engineered for any certification, much less access to facilities to build.

Once again, welcome to the Forum. There is a lot of well documented information, here, not just artistic fantasies.

Jeffrey L. Frusha
Kingsbury, Texas

(Kerim Tapkan) #5

Hi Wilfred,

Yes it is my design. We also have an architect for exterior styling and an ID company for the interiors as well.

I did the underwater design, structural design, stability calculations, naval architectural drawings and calculations, motion analysis as well.

I have resigned a couple months ago but yes the project is part of Kleindienst Group

152 floating villas. 102 around the honeymoon island (heart shaped island), remaining scattered across the project.

Cost per unit (2 bedroom) is around 1.3m USD, most of it for ID.

sub structure is made of concrete on land, using form work, moulds. Superstructure is extruded marine grade aluminum. Exterior is ACP cladding for basic versions and gelcoat finished GRP cladding for special editions.

Floating Venice cost is a preliminary cost study and may change considerably. That figure is even based on a simple concept design. No detailed design was done during CityScape.

(Kerim Tapkan) #6

Hi Jeffrey,

Thank you for your kind response.

I registered to the forum today and had only little time to go through other topics. I noticed there are interesting ideas.

Please do let me know if there are any engineering studies required. Some naval architecture calculations really don’t take much time when you have the right software. I hope I can be of some help.




My own primary concept is a yacht approximately 1/3 the overall length of your 52m projects, though with a beam that may be approximately equal, but based off of a known set of vessels. At the size specified, it would be an acceptable residence for a couple and is potentially ready for 3-D rendering and analysis, though, not being a Naval Architect, or Marine Engineer, I really cannot say for certain, though I have been fairly thorough within my own limitations.

If you do not mind, I will contact you by email, later today.

My email address is:


(Kerim Tapkan) #8


Sure please do. As I am on vacation and have all the time at the moment, let me see what I can do (wife is the boss now, I’m sure I can steal some time).

Construction material?
Tank arrangement?
Class Rules or statutory requirements applicable?
and many more questions to follow.


(Larry G) #9


Are the new class rules published somewhere available to the public? I try to keep links to such things updated here:

(Larry G) #10

What does production cost per unit look like? What kind of design requirements went into it, i.e. maximum wave height, wind speeds, designed lifetime, etc? How are they moored/station keeping?

How about advice for would-be seastead designers? What should they learn about that would best prepare them for the fundamental engineering questions involved in building floating structures?

I would like to glean such information for making a WIki page about the project and for seasteader self-education efforts.

(Kerim Tapkan) #11


There is DNV-GL Offshore Concrete structure rules that can be referred for structural requirements. I can’t upload pdf here, but if you can let me know how to upload on wiki, I will. Anyway, you can download at this link :

Rules I developed specifically for Floating VIllas are not publicly available. As it was developed at the request of Client. But I can share sections on wiki also.

(Kerim Tapkan) #12


This is a big topic and there are answers to all of your questions.

I will try to open separate topics in the forum to talk about all these subjects. Then we can compile all information to the wiki.

(Larry G) #13

Great, thanks. We can’t upload PDF here on the discussion forum, but we can on the Wiki.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #14



• What is your educated opinion on PK Metas visionary statement about concrete sea structures ?

• Have you tested advanced light cement composites for marine structures ?

• If i got it right you are senior project manager for the | Floating Seahorse Dubai | project for 2 years now…would you share some of your experiences ?

• Can you give us a raw figure how landfill square meter real estate prices in Dubai compare to floating real estate prices - is floating real estate competing successfully ?

(Wilfried Ellmer) #15

How many square meters has the unit ?

(.) #16

Is there any hydrodynamic simulation program that accepts
sketchup 3D hull model?

(Wilfried Ellmer) #18


I Just got it from the website | | … the 3,100 square foot design…

So you offer 288 square meter at USD 1,3 million .

Is that correct ?

(Nick Gencarelle) #19

Kerim, fantastic projects with beautiful designs and concepts and fabrications. I would like you and them to consider using our basalt natural volcanic rock rebars and reinforcements. 2-3 times stronger in tension than steel yet 70% lighter and will not corrode.
Prices in volumes now are competitive to regular steel with better properties than stainless. You can use a smaller diameter and it can be placed closer to the surfaces where compression is most needed. We can put eight containers by weight of steel in ONE container of basalt saving over $35,000 in shipping costs to begin.
Our Cor-Tuf concrete is a UHPC that is actually affordable. Over 30,000 psi and it does not allow for any water or chemical or salts to penetrate. We have license to the US Army Corps of Engineering patent for this concrete tested now for over twenty years.
Combining these two materials means floating islands and structures that will last for many decades more than the materials being used currently. Less materials faster construction, longevity affordably. 401-481-8422.

(Wilfried Ellmer) #20

@Kerim_Tapkan | @NickGri |

Kerim, actually i think Nick has a great way to make your project and product even better (especially to open the road for a in part patented ocean colonization technology) - i would like to explore this further if you are open to it…

New Venice and New Atlantis are on the horizon...@nautilusmaker

(Ali) #21

Hi Mr. Tapkan

Welcome, my name is Ali DUMAN. I am a 10 years experienced civil&marine structures engineer from Turkey too, very interested in floating structures. I will follow your posts over this platform. Let’ s keep in touch

Best Regards
Msc. Civil Engineer