They’ve been around for at least a century, but it’s seemingly only recently that houseboats have started to pack some serious wow factor. And from traditionally made boats in India to ultra-contemporary masterpieces in the Netherlands, these 20 jaw-dropping houseboats will certainly make you want to give up life on land forever.
Image: via Well Done Stuff
20. Muskoka Boathouse – Ontario, Canada
Designed by Christopher Simmonds, this Canadian boathouse-cum-garage in Ontario has a beautiful interior with sleek wooden floors, a generous kitchen and plenty of living space. But its main selling point – architecturally, at least – is the garage where the owners park their two boats.
19. Exbury Egg – Hampshire, U.K.
A collaborative effort between a boat builder, a naval architect and an artist, this egg-shaped boathouse, constructed from locally sourced timber and plywood, was designed for the artist – one Stephen Turner – to live in for a year. Why? So he could be inspired by the U.K.’s Beaulieu River.
18. ar-che – Lusatian Lake District, Germany
The brainchild of German metal construction firm steeltec37, this stunning feat of modern design is made from resilient aluminum; its sail-inspired shape is built to deflect the elements from the glassier parts of its exterior. The houseboat, which can be rented by holidaymakers, is found at Germany’s Lusatian Lake District.
17. MOS Floating House – Lake Huron, Canada
Lake Huron’s building expenses are sky high, so designer MOS constructed this simple, elegant wooden cabin off site before pulling it back to the lake. The one-bedroom houseboat, which comes with a sauna, floats with the lake’s fluctuating water levels and sits unobtrusively with its surroundings.
16. ParkArk – Utrecht, Netherlands
Netherlands-based BYTR Architects created this unobtrusive wood-and-copper houseboat – dubbed the ParkArk – in a historic green space in Utrecht. The floating dwelling features an outside staircase that leads up to roof garden-cum-terrace, and French oak adorns its interiors.
Image: via contemporist
15. Traumfänger – Hamburg, Germany
Rost Niderehe Architects used wood and steel to construct this classy houseboat, which brings concrete-free construction to Hamburg’s urban Eilbek Canal. While its interior is modeled on a classic German family home, its exterior is very much that of a elegantly contemporary boat.
Image: via indulgy
14. Three-story Sausalito Houseboat – Sausalito, California
Sausalito, California is home to many houseboats, but this three-story behemoth is the biggest. The exterior has an appealing angular design, while the interior features Asian-themed décor, spacious living areas, and a master bedroom complete with gas fireplace and Jacuzzi. The roof, meanwhile, doubles as a garden.
Image: via Rent a Houseboat
13. Capsule Houseboat – Gelderland, Netherlands
Crafted in California back in the ’70s, this highly mobile capsule-style houseboat has given new life to an old ship’s rescue pod. Comfortably accommodating two people, the pod – which is based in the Netherlands – features a mini kitchen, a sofa and a cozy double bed.
Image: via Jackie and Joe
12. Sleepless in Seattle Boathouse – Seattle, Washington
This houseboat’s idyllic exterior featured in classic 1993 rom-com Sleepless in Seattle, which may explain its $2.5 million September 2014 price tag. Situated on Lake Union, the sought-after floating abode features wood flooring, big bay windows and classy timber beams.
Image: via airbnb
11. Aqua Jumbo Houseboat – Kerala, India
The kettuvallam is a familiar sight around Kerala, India, and the “Aqua Jumbo Houseboat” is a prime example of this style of accommodation. Indeed, it was constructed entirely out of natural materials, though inside it has the benefit of modern utilities, and guests on board have their own personal chef.
Image: via Pinterest/MunMun Chatterjee
10. Ronald Hooft’s Amsterdam Houseboat – Amsterdam, Netherlands
Architect Ronald Hooft is the man behind this wooden Amsterdam houseboat, which was originally built as nothing more than a hull on which the owners could make their mark. With a sauna included in the bedroom, this is very much a vessel of comfort as well as exceptional design.
Image: V + C Architects
9. Lake Union Floating Home – Seattle, Washington
Seattle’s Vandeventer + Carlander Architects created this floating Lake Union home with elegance and versatility in mind. With over 2,800 square feet of space, it certainly has plenty of room for entertaining, which is exactly what the owners had requested.
Image: via Pinterest/Sylvie Zolezzi
8. Train Wreck – Sausalito, California
The “Train Wreck” boathouse is a clever repurposing of what used to be a 50-foot-long Pullman train car; essentially, then, it’s a combination of vintage rail chic and contemporary boat. It floats in Sausalito, California and is owned by Henry and Renee Baer.
Image: YouTube/Destination America
7. Enterprise – Lake Powell, Utah
This particular four-story monster – named the Enterprise – was created by Bravada Yachts to comfortably accommodate up to nine people. It has a communal top deck, $90,000 worth of kitchens, a bar and a massive living space as well as enviable views of Lake Powell.
6. Floatwing – Coimbra, Portugal
The creation of Portuguese design and engineering firm Friday, this self-sufficient, two-story houseboat – dubbed Floatwing – is designed for couples who fancy getting away from it all for a few days. Among its features are a wine cellar, a barbecue and a generously appointed kitchen.
Image: via competition line
5. Shore Vista Boat House – Austin, Texas
The Shore Vista Boat House, based in Lake Austin, Texas, is an amazing property created by Bercy Chen Studio. Its curved architecture allows it to fit neatly in the surrounding landscape, and it even features its own waterfall that cascades from the boat into the lake.
Image: via Pinterest/Incognito
4. Geometric Houseboat – Copenhagen, Denmark
You don’t see many houseboats like this wonderful Danish oddity. Although most of this Copenhagen houseboat is something of a mystery, its attention-grabbing exterior is composed entirely from metallic geometric shapes with what appears to be a similarly designed conservatory extension on the side.
Image: Giancarlo Zema Design Group
3. WaterNest 100 – London, U.K.
Giancarlo Zema designed the WaterNest 100 after being moved by the nests of water birds. The resulting space age-looking, eco-friendly beauty is made from recycled materials and comes with solar panels. There is also enough room for four people inside its generous domed interior.
Image: via Bold Ride
2. Fennell Residence – Portland, Oregon
The Fennell family hired architect Robert Harvey Oshatz to design this wonderful houseboat, which sits on the Willamette River. It was finished in 2005, and its dramatic shape was designed to “reflect the poetry of the movement of the river,” according to Oshatz.
Image: via Beacont
1.Watervilla De Omval – Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Amsterdam-based Watervilla De Omval by +31 Architects is a piece of art in both form and function. The kitchen and living areas are on the top level, while the bedrooms and bathroom are on the lower level, beneath the surface of the water.