There are hundreds of canals criss-crossing through Amsterdam which make the city uniquely suited for living on the water. This new modern houseboat at De Omval makes houseboats on Lake Powell in the USA look like redneck McMansions. Designed by Dutch firm +31 Architects, the Watervilla de Omval is a compact 2-bedroom houseboat with modern lines that can ride the rise and fall of the tides.
The 200 square meter split-level houseboat on De Omval keeps a low profile to respect local building ordinances. Part of the home is submerged underwater, but +31 Architects made sure to provide daylighting down below by creating a large void from the top floor down to the bottom floor. A ‘cuckoo window’ under the fireplace on the top level lets light into the bedroom below.
A staircase on one side of the house leads up to the rooftop deck, then down half a floor to one of the bedrooms. The staircase continues down another half floor to the bottom level, which features a study, a master bedroom and bathroom and space for technical equipment. The top floor holds the the kitchen, dining and living areas and features large floor-to-ceiling windows on the canal side.
The water villa was recently completed and launched at De Omval, and it offers sweeping views of the nearby Amstel River. A wood planked jetty leads up to the site, and a deck on the opposite side of the house allows the owners to moor a boat alongside it. While the river and canal levels are kept pretty constant in the city, the home could easily adapt to rising sea levels and a changing climate.
Images ©Colin Morsch/+31 Architects