Inspired by the ecology of the shoreline, MHM Architects designed and built this striking boat house on Milstätter Lake in Austria. The structure is set on pier foundations over the water, but it is anchored to the land behind it. MHM Architects’ design intent was to make the building grow like a reed out of the lake. The bottom floor accommodates three boats – one with a motor, one for a rowing and one for a sailing. Behind this is storage space, which is covered with a green roof that connects to the hillside behind. This green ramp leads onto the boathouse and eliminates the need for a boat ramp, which were banned on the lake. The upstairs features a wellness center with space for a solarium, massage and fitness training, as well as a small tea kitchen and a relaxing area.
Solar passive design and natural ventilation help to control the building’s interior climate, and energy-efficient air-to-water heat pumps provide heating and cooling when necessary. Rainwater is harvested from the green roof and used to irrigate the surrounding landscape.
The boat house is built from copper and larch wood – low-maintenance materials that will weather beautifully over time. The wood will fade to gray and the copper will develop a green patina. The boats are cleverly hidden behind a moving accordion-style facade that further helps the building blend in.
Images ©Paul Ott