For those who love waterfront views, houseboats are the perfect alternative to traditional houses. While some are semi-permanently moored to docks for utilities, others are capable of water travel. Owning a house boat or vacationing on one is a great way to feel close to nature and live in a relaxing environment.
Houseboats are found all over the world, in styles ranging from futuristic to traditional, made out of everything from train cars to aluminum to bamboo. Besides serving as personal homes, they’re also used as student dormitories and luxury hotels. Here are six creative houseboats for all occasions and styles.
1. It may look like a rock, but it’s really a 36-ft ton boat and two-bedroom home. Designed to fit in with the wild terrain of Loch Lochy, it’s now travelled all around Europe. The exterior is created with foam painted to look like stone with live moss and grass that keeps growing. The home itself consists of three living areas that can be rearranged both for mooring and traveling down canals.
2. Houseboats in south India, known as Kettuvallams, are popular among tourists for their exotic look. Made out of bamboo and palm leaves, they’re large barges used for scenic trips around Kerala, which pass breathtaking lagoons, canals, and lakes. Tourists also enjoy them for the delicious cuisine prepared by chefs on board, and luxury overnight accommodations.
3. Built from a 19th century Pullman railroad car, this houseboat is located in Sausalito, California. The dining room is the passenger car, while the hall is the luggage hold and the den is the sleeper car. The house is decorated with antiques and preserves the original walls and roofs of the railroad car.
4. Watervilla De Omval offers a panoramic view over the Amstel River in The Netherlands. Designed by 31 Architects, this modern luxury houseboat features a kitchen, terrace, and living space with an open floorplan allowing guests to always have a great view of the water. The shiny aluminum exterior accentuates the distinctive curving facade of the home.
5. Forced to follow strict building regulations, architectural firm Vandeventer + Carlander Architects came up with a contemporary home that sets itself apart from the neighboring houseboats. The home takes advantage of its view of downtown Seattle and Lake Union by placing the living space on the top floor with a rooftop deck. The bottom floor houses the bedroom with glazed windows for natural light sources and a central circular stair to minimize view obstructions. The exterior is made out of aluminum and Alaskan yellow cedar, which complements the color palette of the interior.
6. This brightly-colored houseboat is intended for students, to solve the problem of room shortages. Located in Zwolle, The Netherlands, it has 40 rooms for students and starters. The Netherlands is known for innovative uses for houseboats, including flower markets, luxury hotels, and a solution against flooded homes.