As climate changes are raising the sealevels architects have to look at all possible solutions. One might be making friends with the water and live on it. All over the world there are many communities live on the water. Pile-dwelling and floating houses exist on every continent, for instance in Vietnam the Mekong´s delta is full of houseboats and pile-dwellings and parts of the social life like markets occur on the river.
We wanted to take a closer look at Amsterdam, a city that has a special relation with water. For many years it was one of the worlds leading trade cities and most of the goods where transported on water. An intricate canal system brought the goods right to your front door. Later houses where also built on the canals. The idea of living on the water started during the sixties. Some hippies decided to build their houses on boats, woonbooten (residential boats), this way they could move their house whenever they wanted. The phenomenon became widespread and nowadays there are more than 3000 floating houses only in the Amsterdam area. However the residents are no longer only hippies, today a Woonboten is an alternative for the average middle class dutch family.
Images of Dutch "Woonboten"
During the last 50 years the woonbooten has developed in different ways, some of them are used as hotels and offices. The houseboats are comfortable and has electricity, running water, telephone, etc. There are three different kinds of woonbooten:
-The Ship House is built using an old cargo boat. This is the typical houseboat, it is made of steel and is the largest one because its inhabitants can use the space once used for the load of the ship.
-The Vessel House keeps only the hull, the cockpit and the boat deck are taken away from the boat, these house boats can only be moved occasionally.
-The Ark House is fabricated to be a residential unit. It is made of wood or bricks and built on a square hull made of steel or concrete.
Want to buy your own Woonboot? Follow this link!