by , 08/29/07

amphibian house, amphibious homes, DuraVermeet Amphibious Homes water housing, disaster-proof housing, disaster-proof design, dutch floating houses, dutch aquatic homes

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.”

DuraVermeer, Dutch Floating Homes, Dutch Amphibious Architecture, Dutch floating architecture, floating homes, Massbommel, Netherlands

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.

+ DuraVermeer Floating Dutch Homes
+ Amphibious Floating Architecture by WaterStudio
+ Interview with Koen Olthius of WaterStudio

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  1. sheaoneil485 February 24, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Emergency Houseboats: Bamboo Shelters Float on Oil Drums

    Read more:

    What about these ones in the link above? They seem very affordable, relatively easy to build.

  2. vinaya June 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    even i was thinking on the same line… i m studying architecture and my final project for last year is floating or flood resistant houses… so i thought about this great idea.. this floating houses gives me lots of material for my case study… but i m stuck at some points that how theses houses are elevated??? is there any hyaudralic technology used??? if yes then is it centralized??? what is the material of hollow foundation??? is it less weighing concrete?
    i m seeking for answers…

  3. fely July 6, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    how much does this house cost? this is a great invention if it will cost less and the majority could afford it.

  4. Vicky Stirling January 17, 2008 at 4:19 am

    We looked at a nice plot of land in Maryborough QLD Australia. It is prone to floods and the local council dictated that the floor level must be 300mm above the 1893 flood level, ie 3.5m up whereupon a normal roof height would exceed building height limit set by same council. So we would like a house about 1.5 to 2m above ground level to escape mosquitoes and sandflies, which would float upwards on piles on the very rare occaision that the Mary might reach 1893 level. Most of the houses you describe are infact anchored houseboats. Floods here only last a few days so the pontoons could be much simpler and cheaper.
    Good idea though, but too expensive for q couple of boaties who want to keep their boat.

  5. Virgil McAlpine October 21, 2007 at 2:13 am

    This a wonderful idea. I have been thinking along these lines myself. Though on a limited budget, this is the very type of thing I have been wanting to build. I have also pleaded with others to do this as well but some think that I am crazy. I see this water level problem to soon get out of hand. I believe in the word of God and think that it would be wise to build many such structures as this. The only thing diffrent that I would do is to make mine more sea worthy, to take a greater beating from the ocean. Incorperate a motor and/or sails. All this may sound strange and even funny to some, until you need it. It is better to have and not need than to need and not have. I will always help others. I see that many will soon be without homes and need help in this very useful way. Thank you for being an inspiration to many others.

  6. shocka September 12, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    in the first picture: are those red posts there to stop the house from drifting downstream? if so i would recommend making them a little taller just incase 😉

  7. Las casas anfibio de Ha... September 4, 2007 at 10:33 pm

    […] InHabitat Creando al huevo […]

  8. Michael August 31, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Beautiful and functional design, New Orleans and other coastal cities should look into designing their towns like the Dutch have done.

  9. Brian August 31, 2007 at 12:32 am

    Very neat idea. Would work well on sheltered tidal waters too. If the Antarctic Ice Shelves or Greenland melts completely, they’ll need 35 foot moorings though, not 15.

  10. Richie August 30, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    Great ideas. A House… a Boat… what ? What’s most intriguing to consider, is what is done to the parts of these houses that are expected to be underwater from time to time. In other words, boats – yachts, etc. have periodic maintenance to their hulls. So what about the ‘hull’ sections of these houses… and how are they maintained ? Ships can be jacked up and fixed in place in ‘dry dock’, allowing free access to their undersides.

    Questions: (1) How are the bottoms and sides of these houses sealed against rot and moisture ? (2) How can they be patched, repaired and worked on in dry conditions ? Are there mobile hydraulic jacks which are brought in to elevate these structures ? What ?

  11. Naomi August 30, 2007 at 3:01 pm

    Really smart design. Very innovative… and timely, too! Let’s hope this idea/technique gets “out there” far and wide… in order to help as many people who live near and along shorelines as possible. And soon.

  12. Carl Becker August 30, 2007 at 10:36 am

    A restraunt/marina & floating dock system is working very well in Grand Prairie, Tx on Joe Poole Lake. The restraunt is called “The Oaisis”. It’s very well done and has been working for several years.

  13. Braxton Beyer August 29, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    I live in Austin, TX and there is a Carlos n Charlies restaurant on Lake Travis there. It is built the same way. They remodeled it several years ago after it was badly flooded and now it rises with the water. I wonder how common this is on other lakes already.

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