The Dutch have fought their marshy surroundings with clever engineering since the country’s inception, and we’ve seen some impressive “floating architecture” from DuraVermeer and WaterStudio. Now that global warming is fanning the flame: melting ice-caps and raising sea levels, more and more Dutch designers are getting into amphibious architecture. Builder Hans van de Beek’s amphibious houses are an obvious yet genius solution to rising water levels. He explains; “They are pretty much just regular houses, the only difference is that when the water rises, they rise.”
Unlike the houseboats that line many Dutch canals or the floating villages of Asia, these homes are being built on solid ground — but they also are designed to float on flood water. Each house is made of lightweight wood, and the concrete base is hollow, giving it ship-like buoyancy. With no foundations anchored in the earth, the structure rests on the ground and is fastened to 15-foot-long mooring posts with sliding rings, allowing it to float upwards in times of flood. All the electrical cables, water and sewage flow through flexible pipes inside the mooring piles.
What a great example of turning architectural lemons into lemonade, and being responsive and accepting of environmental contexts.