Fantastic floating homes for modern nomads

A home in nature’s lap is every nature lover’s dream. Building sustainable housing options for people enterprising enough to live in such places requires creativity and out of box thinking. Below are eight amazing floating homes designed to make you feel wistful.

Floating Green Home

This floating home was designed by RAFAA Architecture & Designs and may very soon see the light of the day. Dubbed as The Last Resort, the floating home is anout 5 meters wide and 15 meters long and has two levels. The upper level houses the living space, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. The lower level contains hatches, sleeping bunks and mechanical equipment. There are six bedrooms with sliding panels to ensure privacy. The roof makes for an extra deck and a flight of stair leads to it. The solar-panel generating electricity is situated here. This generates electricity for two electric engines that propel the home. Vertical blinds on the facade act as shading devices for the interior as well as a privacy system.

Iceberg Retreat

These cottages are designed to look like icebergs or natural rock formations. The design reveals only a part of the structure, while a major part of the house is built under the surface of the water- much like an iceberg- to provide an underwater view.

Pontoons are used to stabilize the structure while a hull-like shell keeps it in place and ensures there are no leaks. The submerged design serves a very practical purpose- it keeps a check on excessive energy consumption and the water regulates internal temperatures removing the need for air conditioning. The angled surfaces of the retreat also make for varying diving elevations. This design is the baby of architect Daniel Anderson who is a fan of organic forms.

Mobile Island

The first Mobile Island was constructed 15 years ago but was destroyed by a hurricane. The current model, like its predecessor, floats atop a millions of recycled plastic bottles. The free-floating private Island keeps growing and changing. Sometimes two stories houses are constructed, which, a few years later are replaced. The foundation of this island rests on recycled plastic. Sections of the island are also used to grow food. Tropical and island-related themes adorn the island and also the interiors. Visitors are welcome here and donations are used to keep this island afloat. The island faces the constant danger of natural disaster targeting its area and also the threat of pirates, etc. However, despite the odds, the island has survived and it continues to grow.

Half-floating homes

The Half-Floating home designed by the Dutch firm WaterStudio is a semi-Submerged two-story houseboat. At first look, it appears to be a minimalist, box-like houseboat. However, that is only half of the structure. The lower story, which houses the bedroom, bathroom and other private spaces, is submerged below and the living, dining and kitchen areas are above the waterline.

This design represents housing potential for areas which are predominantly surrounded by water. It combines the experience of living above the surface of the water with the experience of enjoying its depths.

The Uboat

Small, smart and sustainable, the Uboat designed by Wyat Little tackles the problem of building affordable housing.

The Uboat has a simple straightforward design: It’s slat-sided box is surrounded by a deck on all four sides which serve as entry and porch space. The rooftop is designed to provide shelter and an area for the solar panels.

The interior temperature is regulated by a geothermal loop dropped into the water. It draws hot or cool water as required into the in-floor and heating and cooling system. Semi-concealed tanks collect rain water for drinking. Though simple in design, this concept home makes for a more practical housing space.

Split-Level Houseboat

This watery abode was created by Plus31 for the waterways of Amsterdam. This concept again involves layering of living space where the more private areas like the bedrooms and bathrooms rest below the surface. The living rooms, kitchens and other common areas are built above the water so that the occupants can enjoy the view and their privacy isn’t compromised too. The aluminum clad exterior wraps around a rooftop deck to create additional. A looping solid form wraps around the main structure to form the floors, ceiling and short sides of the home.

Living Islands

So far we have listed high tech, and futuristic designs which all require considerable investment and artificial material. Affordable floating homes, however, are not confined to such concept designs. A community in rural South America has lived on moving islands of living reeds for hundreds of years. The Uros islanders carry everything with them on the giant lake. More reeds is continuously added to the eight-foot-thick bed of reeds when they begin to sink. The reason this people are forced to live on the island is the danger of enemies encroaching upon their lands. The reed totora which forms the bed for their island is also consumed as food, and is used for medicinal purposes. These people are not divorced from technology. Today, some homes have motorized vehicles and solar powered panels.


This houseboat breaks the mold of traditional houseboats. Purchased for a mere $25,000, this houseboat has a porch and a garden. The simple twenty by twenty A-frame house is located on Powell Lake in coastal British Columbia. The entire one and half story structure rests on giant logs bound together by steel cable, tightened with winches and hydraulic jacks and fastened with railroad spikes..

The houseboat also has a boat dock, wood shed and a vegetable garden. It is powered by solar and wind energy and propane is used for cooking, refrigeration and lighting. There are two bedrooms, a kitchen, living and dining room on the mail floor. The upper level houses the master bedroom. The house sits atop a floating forty-by-forty foot platform which provides a lot of extra room.

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