This Daring Resort Has 247 ‘Floating’ Pools and Spas

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It may be the most daring resort building ever imagined, and it features 247 "floating" pools and spas. After years of development and construction, the ultra-luxurious Five Jumeirah Village in Dubai, U.A.E., is now open.

The 60-story tower soars over 800 feet high with each of its rooms and suites featuring a swimming pool or a spa, many with acrylic walls and dramatic cantilevered designs that thrust into the air. Each unit includes a landscaped garden situated amongst the open-air architecture and 200-degree views. A "vertical micro-climate" with more than a half million square feet of planting space in the building's vertical core helps maintain temperatures in the often-searing desert heat.

For all of that, perhaps the most impressive feature is the structure's futuristic, independently rotating "wings" on each floor, which work to create constantly shifting spatial relationships between open air and structure.

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As architect Nabil Akiki told Forbes Magazine: "The connection between humans and nature is a basic and natural necessity. As such, each apartment incorporates an extensive outdoor terrace, including a pool, to bring the outdoor indoors. With conventional architecture, you lose land and turn it into concrete. The concept of the integrated lush terrace apartments allows you to gain seven times more green living compared to the land you have lost for the construction."

Akiki explained that as the wings rotate, "The roof becomes the garden of the upper apartment. The revolving void creates a natural cooling system, decreasing the temperature by 2-3 degrees compared to conventional building approaches."

Among the key construction challenges was the need for extensive waterproofing for the pools and irrigated planting areas. "Due to limitations of conventional drainage systems, our focus fell on polyurex, a system sprayed onto the concrete surface."

Distributing the building's weight over a system of concrete minimized the space required for columns, leaving more room for open space in the constantly rotating structure. More than anything, Akiki explained that the five-star resort is all about luxury. "Each apartment provides residents [or guests] with a penthouse lifestyle."

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