FLOATING HOMES

The gentle rise and fall of water is one of the first things humans feel, so perhaps it’s not surprising that we gravitate to bodies of water when we need a moment of relaxation. Some take it further, and find creative ways to dwell right on the water.

Author: Kamila Beyssembaeva

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01. WATERVILLA DE OMVAL — AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS


Designed for a private client by the multidisciplinary studio +31 Architects, Watervilla de Omval is a modern take on the traditional houseboat. Its curved lines, reminiscent of a boat, enable the architects to respect the 10-foot height restriction on the Amstel River.

Photography: +31 Architects

While the split level design places certain areas of the house underwater, +31 Architects added a large void to bring daylight to the basement and a terrace above for the residents to fully enjoy their view of Amsterdam. Thanks to its unique design, Watervilla de Omval is paving the way for innovative architecture on the Dutch waterfront.

Photography: +31 Architects

02. EXBURY EGG — HAMPSHIRE, UK


Floating in the estuary of the Beaulieu River, the self-sustaining Exbury Egg was both a home and a laboratory for British artist Stephen Turner from 2013–14. A collaborative project between Turner, Space Place & Urban Design (SPUD) and the architectural firm, PAD Studio, the egg ran on solar power.

Photography: Nigel Rigden, Courtesy Of Spud

The art that Turner produced while inhabiting the egg was inspired by local natural processes, seasonality as well as the interaction of the space with its surroundings. At the end of the project, the wooden Exbury Egg reflected the natural changes caused by sun, wind, rain and the river itself. With sustainable living at the core of the venture, Turner aimed to raise environmental awareness and better understand the relationship between human activity and nature.

Photography: Nigel Rigden, Courtesy Of Spud

03. AMPHIBIOUS HOUSE — BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, UK


The UK’s first amphibious house addresses a common issue in the area: flooding. Like an amphibious creature, the home can survive either on land or on water. The studio behind the project, Baca Architects, developed a smart engineering system to keep the family house afloat like a buoy when the River Thames oversteps its boundaries. Designed to rise up to 8 feet, the house, enabled by four posts, can slide up and down, and extend itself if required.

Photography: Oliver Pohlmann, Courtesy Of Baca Architects

Photography: Oliver Pohlmann, Courtesy Of Baca Architects

04. FLOATING HOUSE — ONTARIO, CANADA


Another smart engineering system, developed by MOS Architects, keeps this residential home afloat on the moody Lake Huron. Impacted by climate change and annual cyclical variations, the water levels vary from month to month. The architects used steel pontoons below the building, allowing it to rise and fall according to the changes of the lake.

Photography: MOS Architects

Nearly everything in this Floating House is made from red cedar, which is often used in the area because it’s economical and durable. This includes the exterior rainscreen as well as the sink and bathtub.

Thanks to some of the most creative architectural studios in the world, moorings are becoming almost as coveted as land. With modern, self-sustaining designs challenging the classic idea of a houseboat, living on the water is taking on new meaning.

Photography: MOS Architects

Photography: MOS Architects