Schwimmhaus Modern Green Houseboat


I’ve seen houseboats — boats designed or modified to be used primarily as permanent dwellings — in Portland, Oregon and always wondered what it’d be like to live in one.  I could certainly live in something like this, what with the green roof and modern aesthetic.  It’s called the Schwimmhaus and was designed by confused-direction in Germany.  Don’t be fooled by the images, though, because this is just a model.  The real version should be finished in Spring 2009.  At a size of 14 m long, 4 m tall, and 3 m wide, Schwimmhaus will feature a spacious living room, kitchen, bathroom, and loft bedroom.   It’ll also be eco-friendly, too, with features such as the living roof and wood reclaimed from an old farm barn.

In large, densely-populated areas, living on the water is sometimes more affordable than living on land.  So what do you think?  Could you ever live in one?  Tell us with your vote. 




Via Materialicious.

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  • nadim

    Although the idea is cool I believe there are multiple flaws in this design.

    Judging from the pictures here and on their website:

    The house boat oesn’t seem to be autonomous thus requiring another boat to tow it. It’s a housebarge not a houseboat. Not being able to access the rear of it without going through the house is the final proof that this hasn’t be thought as a “boat”.

    At 3 * 14 * 4 meters, I seriously doubt that it will be stable. It’s obviously designed to fit a berth in a harbor. Windy days are going to be fun.
    A sitting area at the back with enough room for a little table and chairs would allow one to profit more of the sun.

    The glassed area seems to be for passive solar energy usage. What is the probability that the berth place will be oriented properly? This wouldn’t have been a problem if the sides offered so little glassed area. which would have made the living room view even more spectacular.

    Cheers, Nadim.

  • PlanetThoughts

    When the ocean levels rise 20 feet we may need about 100 million of these homes…

    • Preston

      Thought the same thing, but decided not to write it. Certainly may not be such a bad investment in coastal areas with berth space.

  • Andrew Stone

    I like it! Maybe I will move out to the Great Salt Lake and live on the docks!

    • Preston

      Yeah if it doesn’t dry up!

  • Chad Ludeman

    Who wouldn’t want to live here? Beautiful! The only change would be a more usable rooftop deck or green roof that is level but that would obviously take away from the design.

    I actually convinced the wife to sell our house and move into a houseboat that we could fix up modern style on the Delaware near downtown Philly a few years ago. We never followed through. Someday…

  • website design worcester

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  • Ashen

    Look at the reflection of the giant in the second photo down. Its a concept model.

    • Preston

      Yep, the article notes that … the actual one is being built and is due in Spring 2009. Construction images on the real deal are available on the website (linked above).

  • Greg

    green roof on a houseboat? REALLY?! come on.. thats total greenwashing. are we worried about excessive run off from a boat causing flooding or erosion? its ON THE WATER already.

    don’t get me wrong, I applaud the intent.

    • Preston

      Not total greenwashing because green roofs have other benefits, in addition to stormwater management. Green roofs reduce heat island effect, take toxins out of the air and release oxygen, reduce peak load and cool the structure’s interior, etc. Plus green roofs can last longer than traditional roofs. I think it’s an interesting application in the houseboat context.

  • Casey

    it looks like a model.. is it a model?


    Good collection, thanks for your sharring..

  • Nolan Scheid

    Hello Preston,
    Did this get built in Portland Oregon?
    I have a friend that is determined to have a green floating home on the Columbia.
    Best regards,
    Nolan Scheid

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