With seas, lakes and rivers taking up a good chunk of the earth’s surface, it was only a matter of time before the structures typical of the land begin to make their way to the water. As early as the early 1900s – and probably earlier – the concept of a house on water began to take shape. Most of this happened in water-friendly cities like Amsterdam, the Netherlands and Portland, Oregon. Over the years, countries like Zimbabwe, India and Laos have used houseboats to entertain the tourists, to travel from city to city or just to enjoy some time away from the city.
Houseboats on the Eilbek Canal, architects Amelie Rost and Joerg Niderehe, Hamburg, Germany
While there is still a community for these traditional houseboats, the market for the lavish floating houses is at an all-time high. This new crop of luxurious, modern, and sometimes outrageous floating homes have taken the real estate world by storm, and we’ve found 10 of our all-time favorites from around the world. Since most of these designs come from the minds of the most brilliant architects around the world, the homes that follow are truly incredible works of art and breathtaking constructions.
The Fennell’s Residence – Portland, Oregon
At first glance it is clear why the famous architect Robert Harvey Oshatz associated his unique design with this wonderful houseboat. Sitting on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon is pure pleasure. The Fennell’s residence offers a warm, cozy atmosphere through the skilful use of wooden beams made of glued wood. The living and dining rooms face the river and have expansive glass windows that have the ability to perfectly capture a beautiful sunset. The proud master bedroom is located above the living room and overlooks the Willamette River. Oshatz played perfectly with this spatial differentiation of the houseboat. He gave it an incredibly impressive curved shape that makes the houseboat a miracle every day, regardless of the time of day.
The Floatwing – Coimbra, Portugal
This beauty, known as the Floatwing, was created by a group originally affiliated with the University of Coimbra. The group still consists of the same marine architects, engineers and industrial designers as before. The team specializes in the very specific niche market of personal submarines and prefabricated floating houses and constructs made-to-order houseboats that vary between 33 and 59 meters in length. While some of the Deluxe Floatwing packages include a solar powered motor, the regular homes are also built to be self-sufficient for at least a week. A personal bat sub is available separately.
Dream catcher – Hamburg, Germany
Although it is more of a glorified barge because of its immobility, this beautiful house comes from the brilliant minds of the Hamburg Rost Niderehe architectural office. The rust Niderehe put its signature and lots of modern accents in every corner of this houseboat. It has beautiful wood siding, an open back deck, and private bedrooms and bathrooms. Built in 2011, this house won a few chunks of construction awards for the architectural firm and recognition for its beautiful style and elegant exterior cladding. This beauty lies in the Eilbek Canal in Hamburg, Germany and is unlikely to get a new address anytime soon as it requires the help of a tug to get around.
Port-X – Prague, Czech Republic
This unique houseboat comes courtesy of the ambitious Port X project. The “C” -shaped design helps create the floor, roof and back wall of the structure and a glass facade encloses the building with an unobstructed view of the Vltava. The sleek, modern design also serves as a wonderful contrast to the surrounding rotunda and the city’s Romanesque architecture, while the intuitive design allows for easy assembly, deconstruction and relocation. You can even tow the amphibious house down the river or rent it for $ 235 a night or as a single occupancy of $ 193 alongside three other guests.
STERN houseboats at their berth