If you’re strolling through Amsterdam and notice a houseboat with a design that doesn’t match the surrounding architecture, you’ve probably found this prefab floating house with an interior inspired by Japanese design. Architect Julius Taminiau drew inspiration from tatami rooms to create a home for himself and his family, and he introduced various space-saving features to make it comfortable and practical.
The floating house was constructed in the town of Hardenberg, over 62 miles (100 kilometers) away. It was then sailed over the IJsselmeer to its final destination.
“I was looking for a place where we could build a family house with a relatively small budget,” said Taminiau. “This was very difficult as housing prices are increasing very abruptly in Amsterdam, so this houseboat was a perfect match.”
Taminiau utilized a tatami grid in order to standardize the design and reduce waste. The external cladding also references tatami mats and has a reflective finish that lets it discreetly reflect the water.
The house has two levels, with the lower one located partly below the water line. This level houses the master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and two smaller bedrooms. The main living areas occupy the upper floor, where the occupants can enjoy views of the surroundings.
A double-height space near the main entrance functions as an office space, but can easily be converted into a guest bedroom. An open staircase leads to the rooftop deck, which is partly outfitted with solar panels.