Gallery: Beautiful Lake Huron Floating House by MOS


What do you do when you need to build a house in the middle of Lake Huron where building on location is prohibitively expensive? You construct a floating house and make it so you can tug it to it’s new home. This beautiful, 1-bedroom lake cabin, designed by MOS, rests on a platform of steel pontoons that allows the house to ride with the fluctuations of the lake. The house itself is a handsome structure with simple and clean lines, but it is the location and surroundings that really make it such a desirable home.

Lake Huron’s water levels fluctuate greatly throughout the year due to changes in season and environmental trends. As a result, any home built around the lake has to take into account the varying water levels. This lake cabin, which resides on the lake, rides the fluctuations. The huge steel pontoons were constructed first, and then brought to the contractor’s lakefront workshop. The pontoons were then placed on the frozen lake, where the construction of the house took place. As it would have been too costly to transport the materials and labor to the site for construction, the home was prefabricated completely off site.

Once completed, the home was tugged 80 km to its present location off an island in Lake Huron and anchored. While tugging a house may not seem environmentally friendly, given the option to transport all the materials and all people to the remote island — transporting the house one time has much less of an impact.

The exterior is clad in cedar siding, and forms an outer envelope for the house to provide a barrier from sometimes harsh weather on the lake. Parts of the exterior are “rainscreens” made from strips of cedar that filter light, enclose some exterior spaces, and also reduce wind load and heat gain. On the water level, the house includes a boat slip, storage space, and a sauna. The second floor contains the living space, kitchen, office space and bedroom.


via Arch Daily


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  1. fightignorance November 26, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    this shows the ignorance and fear generated by those individuals who are free thinkers. And the minute brains of those who think so narrowly. You idiots! they are no different than an rv. or a 50 ft yacht with pump outs…don’t tell us how to live our lives. you could have thought of the idea- you didn’t…now you have to pay taxes for you million dollar waterfront home. Your idiocy is an affront to our right to freedom…it is an assault. on it…

  2. lkhl September 20, 2012 at 7:56 am

    1 week $400

  3. cv1959 January 28, 2012 at 10:10 am

    I love small houses but have to agree – theres nothing ecologically appropriate about this, it isn’t even functional in the environment its placed in and wouldn’t last a winter. Looks like a contrived piece and shame on all participants.

  4. Yaiprang April 25, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Wow. I love it ^__^

  5. brusifur January 17, 2009 at 1:34 am

    as a long time lake huron/georgian bay vacationer, i can say that these floating cottages are a travesty. The eco-friendly factor is atrocious, and the laws governing houseboats are different from cottages. The land is prohibitively expensive because it is a pristine and amazing location. There have been numerous movements to ban these in the counties on the lakes.

    These represent the overpopulation of a place very close to me. Between the jet skis and the party barges, the floating cottages are just another hugely wasteful annoyance to encourage a-holes to venture out into nature cradled in gas powered civilization.

  6. CelesteC January 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

    A nice idea, but how eco-friendly is it? Where does the waste go? How is the water treated?

  7. sarah94549 January 10, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Yes, winter ice and dealing with greywater and sewage are the really interesting points that don’t get a mention. And I don’t see any solar panels on the roof – perhaps there’s more wind than sun and the wind generator is just outside the photo frame? The sauna would be gas, I suppose.

    I can see that a floating house might be a novelty on the Great Lakes, but calling it beautiful is a stretch IMO.

  8. bearsong January 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    How is waste water/sewage dealt with? Is it carried away by pipe to a septic tank far enough from shore? Compost toilet? Gray water system?

  9. Shepson1 January 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    While I do like the simplistic design of this building, and the overall concept of gaining normally unusable space, one should consider the “green” Idea of putting a house in such a remote location to begin with. It’s still putting a building where one doesn’t belong, which promotes long commute times and urban sprawl. People in America seem to have this sense of entitlement to do and have whatever they want, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for the greater good. Having what you want is NOT a right. It’s a pursuit. One which many people never will and never should achieve. I can see a couple problems with this house too… ice would crush the floating support structures in the winter months, and waves during storms would make you seasick as well as keep the drinks sliding across the table, as I don’t see any way of keeping the building steady in the middle of a nor’easter. It’s a good idea, but not a great one.

  10. chrisp68 January 9, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Square, triangular and boring… think outside the ” box”. It’s a fish out of water.

  11. leafpure January 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Gorgeous! I live in Michigan surrounded by Great Lakes. Now that’s an idea for my home right there.

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