Experts predict that climate change will cause sea levels to rise 3 ft (0.9m) or more by 2100, putting hundreds of low-lying cities at risk of massive and permanent flooding. More and more frequently architecture is adapting to nature in order to overcome the upcoming climate conditions. Some weeks ago I published an article about amazingly built tree houses and now it’s time to talk about floating houses.
Despite the fact that housing technology has improved in the past years, the majority of floating homes use traditional materials such as wood and basic hydrostatic methods. Sustainability is a big issue, but no different from built houses on the ground. The objective is to leave no footprint in the environment.
These houses have a different approach to their concept but all of them are built. Some of them emphasize the views, others the light, comfort and amount of space. We all agree that they have to be sustainable and that they need to be adaptable. And cheap? Do you think these designs are affordable?
What are the most important things you look for in a house? Would you like living in one of these?
1. Houseboat On The Eilbek Canal
Location: Hamburg (Germany)
Architect: Sprenger Von Der Lippe
Description: This is one of many houses being constructed in the Eilbek Canal. Making use of the natural surroundings, the abode capitalizes on the nearby vegetation to augment the build-out with a degree of privacy and introversion. the floor at the water’s surface contains the private bedrooms, offering privacy with the inherent landforms along with a living room which overlooks the gently rippling water. Read more here.
2. The Island Home
Location: Ontario (Canada)
Description: This project intersects a vernacular house typology with the site-specific conditions of this unique place: an island on Lake Huron. The location on the Great Lakes imposed complexities to the house’s fabrication and construction, as well as its relationship to site. Annual cyclical change related to the change of seasons, compounded with escalating global environmental trends, cause Lake Huron’s water levels to vary drastically from month-to-month, year-to-year. To adapt to this constant, dynamic change, the house floats atop a structure of steel pontoons, allowing it to fluctuate along with the lake. Read more here.
3. The Egg Home
Location: Exbury (England)
Architect: PAD Studio Architects
Description: Working with renowned artist Stephen Turner, PAD identified the unusual site in an exploration up the Beaulieu River one winter February morning. ‘The Egg’ was designed to accommodate the artist’s residency period of up to 12 months. Stephen Turner’s work is concerned with aspects of time and the dialectics of transience and permanence. His work often involves spending long periods in odd, abandoned places, noting changes in the complex relationship between nature and the man-made. Read more here.
4. 75 Floating Houses
Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Architect: Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer
Description: Canals with houseboats are of course a familiar sight in Dutch cities and one may find the occasional floating hotel or restaurant. But these are always individual units and bear more resemblance to boats than to houses. Besides floating homes, they may include amphibious homes and homes that stand free of the water on mounds, dykes or other waterside situations. Read more here.
5. The FLOAT House
Location: New Orleans (USA)
Architect: Morphosis Architects
Description: The FLOAT House is a new kind of house: a house that can sustain its own water and power needs; a house that can survive the floodwaters generated by a storm the size of Hurricane Katrina; and perhaps most importantly, a house that can be manufactured cheaply enough to function as low-income housing. To protect from flooding, the FLOAT House can rise vertically on guide posts, securely floating up to twelve feet as water levels rise. Read more here.
6. The Bamboo Home
Location: Hanoi (Vietnam)
Architect: H&P Architects
Description: From the bamboo module of f8-f10cm & f4-f5cm diameter and 3.3m or 6.6 length, each house is simply assembled with bolting, binding, hanging, placing… This pulled monolithic architecture is strong enough to suffer from phenomena like 1.5m-high flood. Currently, H&P Architects is experimenting the model to suffer 3m-high flood. The space is multifuntional such as House, Educational, Medical and Community Center and can be spreaded if necessary. The users can build the house by themselves in 25 days! Read more here.
7. Makoko Floating School
Location: Lagos (Nigeria)
Architect: NLE Architects
Description: The coastal community of Makoko, a slum neighborhood, off the Lagos Lagoon in Lagos, Nigeria, is receiving an upgrade to its current solution, which is building homes supported on stilts within the lagoon’s waters. NLE Architects, with sponsoring from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Heinrich Boell Foundation from Germany, designed the Makoko Floating School, phase one of a three-phase development that will become a floating community of interlocked and floating residences. Although the homes aren’t built yet, this is the beginning of a new architectural era in Nigeria. Read more here.
8. Water Villa Omval
Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Architect: +31 Architects
Description: The design is that of a boat with an open floor plan. This allows the users to enjoy the views to the water and the outdoor space to a maximum. The distinguished curved line of the facade directly derives from this desire and the restriction that the boat couldn’t be more than three meters above the water. Following on from the living area and kitchen the bedroom is located on a split level. The split level introduces an open route to the ground floor of the boat and, at the same time, makes it possible to create a terrace on the south side without exceeding the maximum building height. Read more here.
9. The Manta Resort Underwater Hotel Room
Location: Pemba Island (Tanzania)
Architect: Genberg Underwater Hotels
Description: Pemba Island has been separated from the mainland of Tanzania and Zanzibar for decades, leaving an untouched and pristine island of great beauty and fertility. The floating structure, Swedish engineered, provides three levels, those above the water clad in local hardwood, and each an experience in itself. A ladder leads up to the roof which has a lounging area – for sun worshipping by day and by night you can lie back in the starlight and admire the clarity of the stars all seen without any light pollution. Would you spend a night in this hotel? Read more here.