Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Floating Homes in Lausitz, Germany by Studio Becher
May 24th, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Studio Becher
This project was originally designed for the Lausitzer Seenland, a vast brown coal mining area in East Germany which was abandoned after the reunifi cation of Germany and is now being flooded. Within the next few years the area will become the largest cluster of lakes in Europe, comprising of ten large lakes connected by canals.
Different to a hull-based houseboat, a fl oating house is built on top of a standardised and heavyweight concrete or steel pontoon; this makes it easily accessible, without steps leading down into a hull. Being virtually unsinkable, it sits above the water and is therefore less affected by damp coolness. It can be toed and moved to a different pier which makes it much more attractive than a house on a lake shore, not to mention the saving made in not having to buy a plot of land. As a modular system, pontoons can be coupled and extended without limitation and could even form a circular fl oating settlement in the middle of a lake. Technically and organisationally comparable to a land house it is however responsive to the movement of wind and water and this raises the question about its typology: is it ‘building’ or ‘boat’?
The proposed design tries to merge the two typologies. Referring to typical lakeside buildings such as boathouses it looks like a building but its interior reminds the user of a timber boat. In such an environment, movement caused by water or wind would not seem incongruous.
The size of the fl oating house is defi ned by standardised pontoons. It is available in a one and a two storey version where the latter is comparably cheaper due to the better floor area to pontoon cost ratio.
Ultra thin Multiplex plywood ribs of different profile form a lightweight structure which allows for maximum flexibility in positioning openings and windows. Inside, the ribs are lined with plywood. Outside, traditionally fixed timber boards refer to the aesthetic of timber shiphulls. Depending on density and organisation of the ‘home pier’, the façade can either be rather enclosedor very transparent. As known from boat construction, the interior is organised symmetrically in order to avoid irregular load cases. It can be marketed fully fitted or empty without partitions, floors and finishes.
The standard version provides four bunk beds which are separable with curtains. Two of the beds can be pushed together and used as a double. Hammocks provide additional space for guests. A small bathroom with toilet, shower and basin is provided underneath the stairs.
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