All Aboard! 15 Modern Houseboats, Boatels & More Floating Architecture

Modern Floating Houses in Amsterdam by Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer

“Is it a boat? Is it a house? Is it romantic or is it pragmatic? It is a hybrid. It is not what you think it is,” say the architects of these floating structures in Amsterdam. The idea was to create something more like an apartment complex on the water rather than a series of disconnected private homes. Designed for the IJburg district of the city, which aims to have complete floating neighborhoods with jetties instead of paved footpaths, the development aims to make use of the space on the water while the city grows.

Waterlovt Luxury Houseboat in Amsterdam

A well known manufacturer of quality houseboats in Holland, Waterlovt produces simple modern floating homes envisioned as “future-proof,” with sustainable features expected to become the norm within the coming decades. They’re available in a variety of plans and can be made fully self-sufficient, with their own solar power production, clean water and waste treatment as well as optional smart home and high-end entertainment systems.

Family Houseboat by Laust Nørgaard

Simple yet striking with its all-black exterior and wooden shutters, this modern floating home by Danish boatbuilder Laust Nørgaard sits on the Copenhagen harbor as a 753-square-foot family residence. The owners had lived on the water prior to having a child, and wanted to do it again when their daughter left for college. The interiors are clean, simple and cliche-free, lined with pale firewood and white paint for a breezy effect.

Arctic Bath Hotel in Swedish Lapland

It may look like the kind of fanciful rendering that won’t actually be built, but the Arctic Bath in Harads is currently under construction and due to open this fall, taking inspiration from the success of the Treehotel to create an open-air cold bath and spa on the water. It will offer different kinds of relaxing activities at different times of year, like floating in the lake during the summer as well as saunas, a treatment room, a hot bath and the cold bath outside. The design references the fallen logs commonly seen in the area.