Floating Into the Future
Is the future of eco-friendly home design the houseboat? Ever since writing our article on cool houseboats, we've been intrigued by this simple form of residence and what it can offer us in terms of great design and sustainability. Above you see a concept by SolarLab for a free-floating, solar powered habitat that will eventually be found on Germany's Lake Constance as an example of integrated, green living spaces for the future.
Compare SolarLab's project to this most basic of "houseboats"–really just an RV on a pontoon–and you'll get an idea of just how far we've come (we still love trailers, though). But how about where we're going? We've discovered some amazing concepts for houseboats that might just be the homes of the future.
One reason why houseboats may indeed become the homes of the future is global warming,
which has and is still severely changing the water levels in many places. This is a model for a houseboat on Lake Huron. The lake has experienced a rise in water levels over the past several years. By building the house not on an immobile foundation but on a steel pontoon structure, the architects sidestepped that issue and made it possible for the home to adapt to any changes in environment that may be coming down the line.
This is a pre-fab houseboat that takes just as much from the philosophy of mid-century modern design as it does from green building technology.
Even the commercial market is wants a piece of the houseboat action. Here is the "Kevell" model of eco houseboat from European company Aquashell. It is intended for a a family of up to 5 people –and should you want to purchase one, it is fully customizeable.
Who knows, perhaps in the future we will have entire communities of floating homes, like the concept above.
tubiQ is a particularly cool concept for future houseboats. It's totally modular, which means that different elements can be interchanged based on the needs of the occupants. Though it slightly resembles a fancy yacht, tubiQ is actually made of aluminum and fiberglass to make it worthy of the high seas.
This isn't a traditional houseboat, but the architects at Germany's Lausitz Resort were certainly inspired by ships when designing it. The lakeside property boasts a "sail side" to protect the inhabitants from harsh sunlight. The other side is open to the lake.
Another very futuristic concept for a houseboat. This one sort of looks like a whale. The open front would make for some great whale watching, anyway!
This houseboat has a name! Entitled "The Last Resort", it took first prize at RAFAA Architecture & Designs. It's a mobile floating home that will be going into production later this year. Perhaps houseboat communities will be the trailer parks of the future?
If so, we hope they look like this. These floating bubbles, entitled "The Oyster" and designed by Indian architect Shekhar Shinde, will house single families in style. And they will be eco-friendly: the roof of these houseboats are covered in photovoltaic panels to generate all the energy the house needs.
What do you think houseboats will look like in the future?