Skip to Content

SAOTA & ARRCC Design High-End Floating Villas in Collaboration with ADMARES


SAOTA, a leading firm of architects is driven by the dynamic combination of Stefan Antoni, Philip Olmesdahl, Greg Truen, Phillippe Fouché, Mark Bullivant, and Logen Gorden. The Cape Town-based design studio has a global footprint and has worked on projects in 86 countries, across six continents and has projects underway in several other key cities globally, including Dubai, Lagos, Los Angeles, Geneva, Moscow, Dakar, St Tropez, and more recently Sao Paulo and Shenzhen.


ADMARES is a world leader in alternative real estate, using innovative construction technologies that combine cutting-edge marine, land, offshore, and modular construction techniques. ADMARES turnkey solutions guarantee greater returns for developers as well as shorter project time frames and minimal environmental impact.

ADMARES’ innovative floating or pile-supported structures create a new valuable real estate on the water. Whether for new construction or property extensions, ADMARES turnkey modular construction and pre-assembly solutions allow the majority of the construction and outfitting to take place off-site. By minimizing disruption and greatly reducing on-site construction time frames, the company delivers powerful commercial advantages to clients.

ADMARES provides its customers with total lifecycle support for all of its developments – from conceptual design to the end of the product’s lifetime. Services include architectural design, complete technical engineering, and construction, as well as after-sales and logistics services.

SAOTA and ARRCC, together with ADMARES, a world leader in alternative real estate, announce their collaboration to create an exclusive high-end floating villa line to be made available to clients worldwide during 2021.

SAOTA, an award-winning Cape Town-based architecture studio, has designed a villa to take maximum advantage of ADMARES’ pioneering technology and construction know-how.

The concept was to design a private island getaway, rather than a villa on the water, and do this in a contemporary and tasteful fashion. The floating villas consist of two floors and six bedrooms with the first floor characterized by double volumes, bold materials, and the generous integration of planting. This forms the island, and all the spaces are analogous to and inspired by natural experiences offered by tropical islands around the world. The second floor, which contains the bedrooms and pyjama lounge, is the refuge that gently hovers above the island as an element which is more precise, controlled, and speaks to a more refined sense of luxury.

For the interiors, ARRCC conceptualized an elegant, high-end approach that incorporates natural materials and features textured timbers, patinated bronze, marble and mirror elements that mimic and reflect the villa’s environment. An interplay exists between the dark-toned architecture and warmer interior finishes and textures, a powerful juxtaposition that creates pockets of warmth and serenity.

The décor embodies fluidity inspired by the waterscapes including soft shapes and curves within the sofas and features glass, marble, and bronze tabletops, textured to mimic the movement of water. Furniture is positioned and scaled to highlight the spaces’ generous volumes, whilst remaining simple and understated.

The neutral color palette complements the paired back interior while incorporating feature pieces in varying hues of blue, offering a subtle nod to the adjacent waterscape. The interiors are infused with natural light and capture the flow of water which dances on the reflective surfaces creating a sense of movement and place, whilst establishing a fluidity between indoor and outdoor.

The interior architecture draws connections from the notion of the island and its lush landscaping, which is extended into the interior and further expressed with the use of rough surfaces such as the unfilled travertine flooring, and the split rock face that holds the base of the first-floor cantilever. These natural materials pull you back to a primal beauty that is Barefoot Luxury.

In contrast, the upper level takes subtle cues from nautical high-end luxury yachts, expressed through minimalist extended lines in the high gloss timber paneling, to rope-like detailing visible in elements from the feature light feature, down to the finest details in the custom rope door handles.
Metallic elements of bronze chamfered doors were brought in to create a lustrous quality that pierces through rough stone walls, creating tension between luxury and rawness, the driving force that directed the conceptual approach.

“We are delighted to announce our partnership with ADMARES,” said SAOTA Director, Philip Olmesdahl. “It has been exciting to explore a new project type. The idea is to provide a villa which can adapt to reflect the character and taste of the owner, while still retaining the expansive character and ease of living that SAOTA is best known for.”

This high-end floating villa line will attract global interest and further accelerate the adaptation of on-water real estate products, elevating world-class overwater living to a whole new level. The most luxurious location for a villa is by the water, or in this case, on the water.