In recent years, there’s a been a surge of interest in floating homes for many reasons – mainly because they can be easily adapted for site-specific environments.

Ranging from a water villa with a sunken floor below the water, to a self-sustainable residence that can travel to some of the world’s most remote lakes and rivers, these new bobbing homes encourage an unconventional, water-based lifestyle.

Houseboat on the Eilbekkanal

Accessible by a petite footbridge that leads from the bank to the upper deck, this houseboat by martinoff architekten contains upper and lower floors that are connected by an internal staircase. Inside, the living spaces are oriented towards the canal, while a continuous deck lines the entire length of the living space.
In Hamberg, Germany, Houseboat on the Eilbekkanal is enveloped in sliding timber slats, creating a constant connection between the interior and the exterior. Photo courtesy of M.Kunze and Martinoff Architekten.

Floating home on Lake Huron

Floating on a skeleton of steel pontoons, this prefab structure designed by MOS Architects was towed on-site, anchored and constructed in stages. Cedar envelops the interior, exterior and an enclosed exterior space. Protected by slatted rain screens, filtered light enters open voids throughout the entire structure – pragmatically reducing exposure to the natural elements.

Cedar slats mark the facade of this family lake house in Ontario. Photo: Raimund Koch.

ParkArk in Utrecht

Clad in copper panels and local timber, ParkArk was designed by BYTR Architects for a young family who wanted to live beside a 17-century park in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Formerly living in a steel ship, the family desired a houseboat that had the intimacy of their last home but with a more modern design.

Anchored beside a wooded parkland, this houseboat in the Netherlands was designed by BYTR Architects. Photo courtesy of Stijn Poelstra and Jacqueline Knudsen.

Floatwing by Friday

This prefabricated houseboat can be built to order and shipped to almost anywhere in the world. The made-to-order houseboats are designed to be entirely self-sustainable for up to a week at a time, enabling occupants the opportunity to take up residence in some of the world’s most remote lakes and rivers.

A team from the University of Coimbra in Portugal designed Floatwing. Photo: Jose Campos.

Floating home in Copenhagen Harbour

Offering picturesque views of Copenhagen Harbour, this 750-square-foot, two-bedroom floating home was designed by Laust Nørgaard and features a dark-stained wood exterior with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors. The large windows allow residents and visitors to go swimming every morning by simply jumping out the bedroom door.

Laust Nørgaard and his wife, Lisbeth Juul, drew upon their years of experience living on the water to design and build this floating home in Copenhagen Harbour. The home’s minimal form and furnishings reflect the residents’ desire to downsize following three years on land. Photo: Anders Hviid.

Port X on Vltava River

Currently floating on the banks of Prague’s Vltava River, this design-centric home and event space is composed of a single deck floor and a shed roof. Designed to be mobile, added to, reduced and reproduced, the structure consists of two major modular components: the pontoon and the residential area. The technological design combines wood, laminate and CNC-cut curves.

Created as a prototype for a serial production, Port X was designed by architects Jerry Koza and Adam Jirkal, along with engineer Tomáš Kalhaus from Atelier SAD. Photo by Tomas Soucek.

Water Villa in Amsterdam

The architects at Framework Studio and Studio Prototype created geometric patterns across the exterior of this floating villa that’s moored on a canal in the southwest part of Amsterdam. The timber-clad facade features a window on the top floor that can fold up by a remote-controlled shutter for additional privacy.

Water Villa features a sunken floor below the water and an atrium at the center of the house, which connects the children’s rooms in the basement with the living and dining rooms on the ground floor. Photo by Jeroen Musch.

SayBoat in the Czech Republic

Inspired by Le Corbusier’s construction of minimalist architecture, architect Milan Řídký designed these buoyant living quarters for functionalism, spaciousness and utility. The two biggest rooms are connected by a staircase with a glass barrier, evoking the open atmosphere of a small loft.

This full-fledged floating house was designed with features that are meant to live comfortably year-round. Photo by Richard Navara, Courtesy of Milan Řídký.

‘O’ De Squisito houseboat

Expressed by horizontal slabs and floor-to-ceiling windows that float on structural catamaran beams, this dwelling designed by X-Architects is surrounded by an aquatic mise-en-scène. Inside, an upper deck contains a concealed kitchen, living room and an informal dining area, while the lower deck houses the bedrooms, bathroom and steering cabin.

X-Architects closely collaborated with Leen Vandaele, to construct a terrace with a spiral staircase that can be used as a sun deck. Photo by Ake Lindman.

Mjölk Architekti’s floating home

This two-story, affordable residence by Mjölk Architekti floats in the heart of downtown Prague. The exterior and interior is enveloped in wood panels. The ground floor contains the kitchen, living areas and a bathroom, while the top floor houses a cozy bedroom nook with a skylight.

This project was reconstructed from an old houseboat that was anchored in the sailing club in the Smichov district. Courtesy of Mjölk architekti.

Top photo by Dwell.

This article was written by Gabrielle Golenda and originally appeared on Dwell.  Check out more of their content on


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