Schwimmhaus: The Sustainable Modern HouseBoat

by , 11/06/08

confused direction, schwimmhaus, boat house, sustainable house boat, green roof house boat, green architecture, green building

The Schwimmhaus by German architects Confused-Direction is a green hausboot (oops, house boat) designed to float around or just stay put on the shore. Its modern pre-fab aesthetic sets it aside from most maritime-y houseboats, and a green roof adds freshness and sustainable cred. Still under construction, Schwimmhaus is being built from wood salvaged from an old farm house in addition to other sustainable building materials.

confused direction, schwimmhaus, boat house, sustainable house boat, green roof house boat, green architecture, green building

Based in Oldenburg, just a boat’s float up the Hunte River to the North Sea, Confused-Direction is a young design co-op founded by Flo Florian and Sascha Akkermann. With backgrounds in technical design and carpentry, respectively, Confused-Direction dabbles in furniture, interior and architectural design. You may remember Sascha’s fold-up chaise lounge, the poissonmobile from 2006.

The Schwimmhaus is set for completion this spring. No word yet on whether they’re planning on making the hausboot commercially available but I can imagine a waiting list in eco-conscious houseboat-friendly cities like Seattle or Portland. It’s inspiring to see designers take on alternative dwellings – if we can’t significantly reduce the melting of our icecaps and glaciers, we may all be living afloat someday.

+ Schwimmhaus

+ Confused-Direction

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  1. Tim Troxler March 10, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve often thought it would be cool to live in a floating home and recently tried a short stint in an old sailboat. It has been disappointing to learn that houseboats are not allowed in most jurisdictions, though I can understand the reasons for the environmental regulations. I wonder how permitting agencies would look at man-made lagoons as a means of creating space for houseboats. Those gigantic casinos along the river in Mississippi are floating in lagoons, though you would never know it when inside one. May also be a means of creating flood control basins for flood-prone rivers and tidal areas.

  2. ginogoss July 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Love it !!!! Would be a dream come true to own and live on a houseboat.

  3. HDCandela February 26, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    In the United States most local governments make it difficult or even impossible to have a floating home. If you are a responsible person, will not do harm to the environment & community, can live out of the way of recreation, and have soundly thought things through, other reasons will made up to prevent you from living this way. It all comes down to wealthy socialists trying to monitor, control, and make money over everything. False education of the population has allowed it to happen so quickly. Comparing the States from when I was young to now is like day and night. So, most people who choose to live on the water in the States, buy & use older boats in marinas & tributaries where others will not notice or enforcement is lax. Liberty anywhere is a threat to Tyranny everywhere. Considering what this world has become, I like the idea of being able to up anchor and relocate when the wealthy and well connected in government become no longer tolerable, and can not be corrected.

  4. sherryshah February 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

    hi, can u plz help me abt wht r the sustainable materials or sustainable come green idea to make a boat house at the sea shore?
    will wait for reply…..
    sherry shah

  5. armorbearer December 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    hi all, i love this idea and i’m originally from the US and currently live in the state of GA.

  6. Jazz September 12, 2009 at 1:25 am

    In response to “Logdog’s” question concerning where he might get a permit for a floating home in NW Washington. Start with the Dept. of Natural Rescources in Olympia. However, Washington isn’t giving permits for floating homes the last we knew. We have lived on a small yacht in Seattle periodically and they were not issuing permits for floating homes. The floating homes on Lake Union were grandfathered in. As mentioned by another writer; it is becoming difficult to obtain permits in the U.S. for floating homes. Not because of the use of public waters—-one of the reasons is people are not responsible and discharge raw sewage into the waters.


  7. LOGDOG July 25, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    My wife and I are interested in constructing a floating home / pod of homes in NW Washington. Does anyone know who an individual would contact in order to explore the permitting process? I realize it may not be an easy undertaking but feel confident if I could obtain the permits I could manage the rest of the factors. Thank you in advance for any useful info.


  8. fahmida ishaque May 14, 2009 at 12:44 am

    hi,i am from you give me any idea about construction of a floating house with low costing?

  9. whatsthediff November 11, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    I have the more traditional type. Located on the lower Columbia River in Oregon it is made of corrugated tin and floats on huge old growth cedar logs, each the circumferance of a vw bus. Built in 1935, cedar trees of this size were basically nuisance trees, which the loggers fell to get at the desirable Douglas Fir trees. Many of the cedars felled are were left. A few were removed for various purposes including float houses. Mine has a boatwell aft and a small apartment in front. I have owned it for over 20 years and provides a great escape from humanities masses. I can supply you a photo if you like.

  10. Nostradamus November 10, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Timmy’s in the well?

    The Dutch would tell you to simply keep an eye on your kids and be careful….

  11. cdbaut November 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    While the design and principles are really disturbing thought crossed my mind. Anyone else picture a child wandering off the side of this? Ascestic aside, how about some railing?

  12. Schwimmhaus, a Compact ... November 8, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    […] Crafted with outmost elegance by German architects Confused-Direction, Schwimmhaus is a compact modern houseboat that keeps in tune with the tranquil environment that it ventures into. Built with eco-friendliness in mind, the houseboat sports a green roof and is being fabricated out of salvaged wood from an old farm house in addition to other sustainable building materials. Set for completion this spring, an inflatable model of Schwimmhaus threads the waters of Hunte River for now. The interiors of this green houseboat are also crafted to match the simple yet ergonomic style of the boat and the sustainable design the project aims to achieve. – via Inhabitat […]

  13. ingrid November 8, 2008 at 5:12 am

    Hi Stan,
    I live in the Netherlands, and a lot of dutch people would disagree with your definition of a house boat. Here they are most definitely not recreational. I’m sure that there would be a market here.

  14. StanB November 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    I agree with most of Ms. Kain’s comments. However, there is not likely to be much of a market, and certainly not any waiting list in Portland or Seattle, or any other city in the US. The problem is that all US waters that can accommodate floating homes are governmentally-owned and essentially every possible berth that might be available is already owned and occupied. NO more berths are being created, and in fact, in most jurisdictions, governmental agencies want living on the water in a permanent dwelling to be abated. This has already happened in most of the country. The view is that living on the water should not be allowed, because the waters belong to ALL the people, and when people live on them, they are restricting their use for recreation by the general public. Very sad.

    And, a point of definition. The Schwimmhaus is, by accepted definition, a “Floating Home” not a “houseboat.” Houseboats are recreational, self-propelled vessels. Floating Homes are permanently berthed dwellings.
    Just thought you might want to know.

    Stan Barbarich

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