Living on Water: Floating Homes
December 7, 2023
Over the years of hosting FuturArc Prize (an international design competition that focuses on Green architectural interventions in Asia), it has often been observed that a substantial number of ideas proposed—and increasingly so—were solutions for waterside communities or water-related concerns, regardless of what the cycle’s theme is about in terms of envisioning a sustainable future.
This is especially so for entrants from countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam, where water is inevitably tied to their climatic, cultural, geographical and socio-economic fabrics. Among the most popular architectural interventions proposed has been the floating house.
Here, we look at two examples of such an architectural typology to consider its practical applications and correlation with the larger environment and other hydrological systems. How would a floating house be designed and built for different aquatic locales and what would their interface with the water’s edge be like? How would it manage its internal plumbing processes and water needs? Are we ready to deploy them at scale so as to better prepare for inundation scenarios due to climate change? Or are we still prototyping to testbed different materials and ecosystems adaptabilities?
One is a floating house prototype that has been fashioned by a Vietnamese architect and his team in an attempt to address the impending issue of sea level rise and its impact on those living on water; and the other an actual floating house in the Netherlands—another country that is inextricably linked with water.