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Modern Houseboat Design – a sustainable houseboat from the future!

As part of a Swedish design competition, Niall McLaughlin Architects designed this fabulous modern houseboat for two. Small in size but big on innovation, this unique floating home was born from three key considerations – light, space and construction. According to the architects, “Our aim was to design a house which has a spatial quality which we describe as a ‘thicket.’ Implicit in this is the idea that the enclosure is experienced as a congruence of lines rather than as a clearing defined by surfaces. The thicket suggested an intertwining of lines which led us to an interest in the process of weaving.” To realize their design concept, a visit to the West of Ireland schooled the architects on the building of light-weight, basket-like fishing boats called “currachs.” And thus the Houseboat was born. This cool, contemporary house design is made from woven carbon-fibre, and boasts inflatable flotation elements. The upper portion of the structure is a translucent, argon gas-filled volume that serves to insulate the space. “By combining inflatable and woven elements, within the depth of the construction of the houseboat, we extend the concept of interdependence between contained and container. The container and the contents rely on each other for stability,” reveal the architects. On entry, interwoven electronic elements immediately catch your eye. This curious contraption collects energy from the environment and reuses it. A really cool feature is one you can’t see outright – solar panels power a pump that circulates water through underwater coils to the exterior wall of the home, passively cooling the space. Niall McLaughlin Architects



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