Wonderful Engineering

Floating Houses Are The New Thing In Amsterdam

The city of Amsterdam, Netherlands has been plagued with massive floods for many decades of the history. This time, the architects decided that instead of rebuilding the destroyed structures, they will build houses that float. Instead of protecting houses against water, they decided to build houses over it.

Credits: Marcel van der Burg

These floating houses were designed by Architectenbureau Marlies Rohmer, as people of Netherlands have faced a lot of difficulties due to the floods. With the recent advancements in civil engineering and architecture, floating homes have become a reality. They are more safe, affordable, viable, and are thought to be more safe in case of the flood. This will also create housing space away from the populated and sprawling cities.

Credits: Flickr

How are these houses standing on the water? The houses are assembled on land and then transported to the water via boat. Half of the house story is underwater, and the structure is made up of lightweight timber frames. The walls are covered with fiberglass and plastic latches to give an aesthetic feel to the house. Next, the structure is mounted on the top of 2 steel poles for mooring. This allows the house to move depending upon the level of the water below. Every house covers an area of approximately 275 square meters.

Credits: Roos Aldershoff

This project of floating houses began in 2011, and since then, around 20,000 people have moved in these houses. It is estimated that the project will have a total of 18,000 homes for 45,000 people. It will be more like a colony with schools, restaurants, and shops. A floating house in Amsterdam costs about $500,000. However, an earthquake is still a major threat. One of the designers said:

“Our needs are unique [compared with people living on land]. If there’s a quake and the dock breaks up, we need to figure out how to tether ourselves together to stay safe.”

Credits: Luuk, Kramer

These floating houses come at a premium price, but are quite effective against floods and space issues in Amsterdam; a wise investment indeed.

Who knows we might have an entire city underwater in future! Would you like to have a floating house for your family as well? Comment below.