More rockin’ houseboats:
ParkArk — Utrecht, Netherlands
ParkArk is the creation of the Rotterdam-based firm BYTR Architects. Unlike many of the exploratory, prototype houseboats out there, this model actually serves as a family residence. The owners of the ParkArk previously lived aboard a steel ship and requested that the firm attempt to recreate the feel of their last home while incorporating an updated, modern aesthetic.
The copper sheets that make up the lower exterior nearly graze the water, allowing the design to parallel that of the canal. A large skylight also floods the house with natural lighting, while a green roof further melds the structure with surrounding shrubbery.
Villa Näckros — Kalmar, Sweden
Located in the town of Kalmar on Sweden’s east coast, this contemporary houseboat offers incredible waterfront views, a spatial floorplan, and an incredible top-floor deck perfect for catching a sunset. With six bedrooms, just over 1,900 square feet of living space, and a technologically advanced kitchen, this home oozes luxury and affluence.
The residence weighs in at a sturdy 165 tons, assuring no amount of wind, large waves, or floating ice have the ability to knock this marvel off its rocker. Owners also have access to roughly 1,000 square feet of rooftop-garden space, as well as an aluminum mooring bar fit for the fastening of any small boat.
The Exbury Egg — Beaulieu River, UK
The Exbury Egg may not look like much of a luxury home when placed beside some of the other houseboats on our list, but what this houseboat lacks in bells and whistles it makes up for in sweet, sweet solitude. The Exbury Egg is an efficient, self-sustaining collaboration between the SPUD group, PAD studio, and artist Stephen Turner, tethered on the River Beaulieu in southern England. Rising and falling with the tide, the Egg looks to be a unique place to zen-out and ponder life’s more perplexing questions.
Butt’s Clermont Houseboats — Lake Dal, India
An entire article could be written on the beautiful houseboats floating on Lake Dal in Srinagar, India; the four Butt’s Clermont Houseboats, however, are arguably its most famous. Beyond the intricate woodwork and the breathtaking views of the Himalayas, the laundry list of former celebrity guests who’ve briefly called the houseboats home is quite impressive.
Everyone from Vice President Nelson Rockefeller to George Harrison has spent time atop the boats; hell, Ravi Shankar even taught the latter to play the sitar under the ancient Chinar trees that abut the floating structures. We can’t guarantee a one-night stay will offer this sort of enlightenment, but it does allow for a literal day-in-the-life type of experience. Rimshot, please.
Watervilla de Omval — The Netherlands
Dutch architecture firm +31 Architects wanted to craft a houseboat that felt modern without losing its charm and succeeded massively with the Watervilla de Omval, situated along the bank of Amsterdam’s Amstel River. A mostly white, aluminum-clad exterior shines against the water (especially at night, with the lights on in the boat), while the inside is replete with wood grain and white plaster.
The top of the Watervilla is equipped with guardrails and functions as an observation deck overlooking urban Amsterdam. The split-level design provides wind protection on the deck, while offering maximum space and a unique, curvaceous flavor to the home. The Watervilla de Omval is one of the few houseboats that actually looks better in real life than it did in concept, and it’s worth checking out if you’re ever in the Netherlands.
‘O’ de Squisito — Dubai, UAE
Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this is the second entry on our list from Dubai. The city houses an obscene amount of wealth, from lavish hotels and resorts to sprawling super-yachts, and the ‘O’ de Squisito fits right in. Designed by X Architects in collaboration with renowned interior architect Leen Vandaele, the boat is built upon two modified catamaran beams, and it even has a freakin’ spiral staircase.
Upstairs, you’ll find a concealed kitchenette, living room, and dining area, while the bedrooms, bathroom, and steering cabin are on the main level. The house’s design is angular and contemporary, with shades of white and steel accents throughout. Vandaele says she was inspired to build the ‘O’ because, despite living in a fancy Dubai high-rise with spectacular views, she missed the open air. This house doesn’t seem exceptionally seaworthy (it’s basically one big rectangular prism), but it’s a gorgeous project nonetheless.
Updated 3-13-2017 by Nick Hastings
- Ask architects to design unique tiny homes, and the results are otherwordly
- The biggest, tallest, longest, and most impressive bridges in the world
- Think inside the box with these tricked-out shipping container homes
- 20 awesome indie games you should be playing right now
- Where are you going this weekend? These 10 off-road vehicles say ‘anywhere’