Thursday, October 1, 2015

Come Aboard the 10 Nicest Houseboats in the World.

The real estate world has been taken by storm, with luxurious, contemporary, and outrageously designed floating homes. These homes are true works of incredible art and stunning construction from the minds of brilliant architects.

With a huge percentage of the earth’s surface being taken up by sea, lakes and rivers there’s no wonder that as far back as the early 1900s the idea of living on a floating house on the water set sail. These days, houseboats have risen to a new standard, both for recreation and as permanent residences. Houseboat – or floating real estate - designers are pushing the limits true works of art and stunning feats of construction from the minds of brilliant architects.

Nowadays, there really are no boundaries when it comes to choosing your overall design, color schemes or furniture style as the traditional looking houseboat is slowly drifting away and more lavish floating homes are on an all time high.

In the U.S., houseboats are frequently seen bobbing around in American cities like Washington, Portland and Seattle. In fact, the most popular (and therefore populated) house boating waters in the U.S. are Lake Powell in southern Utah and Lake Cumberland in Kentucky. But you’ll see plenty of these addresses-on-the-water on the Delta in Northern California, Sacramento’s rivers, and Lake Tahoe.

After seeing these top ten incredible floating homes from around the world you may decide to say farewell to solid ground and work on your sea legs too…

Houseboats in Europe:

Location:        River Amstel – South Amsterdam
Designer:       Ronald Hooft

Shipped as an empty shell, this houseboat was completed by the owners, ensuring they put their personal stamp on the interior. Featuring a split-level floor plan for better use of interior, these owners are making the most of their home, living with all their comforts, including a sauna in the master bedroom, in a very minimal space. Floor to ceiling windows in the living and dining area ensure picture perfect views wherever they might venture, plus a ton of light flooding in.

Location:        River Amstel – South Amsterdam
Designer:       +31 Archtects

Another interesting houseboat found on the River Amstel, a popular location in Amsterdam. The Watervilla de Omval is 2,100 square-feet of incredible modern art. The open floor plan, with windows spanning the entire front of the structure allowing panoramic views of the river, means the interior needs to be kept looking exquisite for prying eyes at all times. This should be an easy feat with the clean, modern white finishes and appliances.

Location:        Lusatian Lake District – Brandenburg, Germany
Designer:       Steeltec 37

Created with a curved roof to give the impression of a sail on a sailboat, this vacation home can be found on a chain of artificially created lakes in Brandenburg, Germany. Designed to ensure it can withstand the harshest of elements, the floating home has an aluminum exterior. Sliding, slatted screens on the exterior also help to soften the sharp reflections coming off the lake.

Location:        Eilbek Canal - Hamburg, Germany
Designer:       Rost Niderehe Architecture

Constructed in 2011, this immobile floating house won the architectural firm construction awards and recognition for its gorgeous style and sleek exterior finish. Complete with an open back deck, contemporary interior to suit, private bedrooms and bathrooms this modern, glorified barge looks beautiful sitting peacefully on the canal.

Location:        The Netherlands
Designer:       Waterstudio.NL

Named Watervilla de Hoef, this Netherlands beauty floats on a foam and concrete base. Created in 2006, a notch was then cut out of the canal bank in an existing suburban neighborhood and this simple yet attractive looking floating home was slid in.

With floor to ceiling windows to enjoy the view when temperatures are a little low, the exterior back deck is the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee when the sun shines.

Houseboats in the United States:

Location:        Lake Union – Seattle, Washington
Designer:       Vandeventer + Carlander Architects

There's an extensive history of floating homes in Seattle, but this houseboat is the prize of a distinguished owner sailing on Lake Union. Panoramic views of the entire city can be seen from the outdoor common areas on the top floor.

Location:        Sausalito, California
Designer:       Chris Roberts

Built in the late 60s, this horned wooden tower with wide-eye windows was appropriately named The Owl, created by sculpture Chris Roberts who also built two other houses in this area.

In 2012, there were 245 floating homes in the five docks at Sausalito’s Waldo Point Harbor. The majority of the houseboats are simple, understated however the custom-built dream homes were valued upwards of $1.3 million.

Location:        Portland, Oregon

Going back to their roots (or anchors,) this boathouse was inspired by historical waterfront warehouses. Industrial detailing and exposed utilities ensure the design stays true to the look and the feel of these old buildings. Two large outdoor areas and a large deck on the riverside offer plenty of room to spread out and enjoy nights on the water.

Location:  Lake Union – Seattle, Washington

Lake Union is home of the world-famous Sleepless in Seattle (1993) houseboat that is docked off Westlake Avenue on 123 Lake Union. It's a popular tourist attraction, even if only recognised from the exterior. This four-bedroom home is one of the largest on Lake Union, with a combined 2,270-square-foot.

Boasting a large wraparound deck, with room to tie a boat and breathtaking views from beautiful bay windows of surrounding Seattle this boat was sold for a sleepless nights sleep of $2.5 million in September of 2014, just over 20 years after the film was released.

Location:        Willamette River – Portland, Oregon
Designer:       Robert Harvey Oshatz

For those who know their architecture, it will be pretty clear to you that Oshatz was the mastermind behind this stunning, curvaceous form. Huge feature glass windows allow the owners to enjoy exquisite sunsets from their living and dining room, while enjoying a cozy interior created by the warm timber beams.

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