Riverside 433 sq. ft. guest cottage is a roomy floating retreat

Studio Hamlet Architects
© Studio Hamlet Architects

Houseboats often pique our curiosity, thanks to the diversity of their design (we've seen modernist ones, passive houseboats, and even geodesic ones), and the fact that they, well, float. They represent a creative edge of housing design that must adapt to the benefits and challenges of living on the water.

Tucked among a small houseboat community on Oregon's Willamette River comes this gorgeous little guest house, designed by Bainbridge, Washington-based Studio Hamlet Architects. Built as a temporary home for a couple, it will become the family guesthouse once their main houseboat residence is constructed.

© Studio Hamlet Architects
© Studio Hamlet Architects

Seen over at the Tiny House blog, the 433-square-foot dwelling had to conform to the marina's size and fire regulations for guesthouses, so the architects ended up with an exterior deck that ultimately reduced the footprint to 14’-9” x 22’-6” (332 square feet). Within this relatively small area, the designers were able to fit in a kitchen, dining, bathroom with shower, a living room and a cozy sleeping loft. It's also built on a floating 18’ x 34’ concrete foundation -- relatively rare in Portland, but ensuring less future maintenance and more durability compared to wood.

The interior looks spacious and well-lit, thanks to the strategic placement of windows and skylights, both in the kitchen and bathroom.

© Studio Hamlet Architects
© Studio Hamlet Architects

The office workspace and dining area adjoin each other, with window views looking out over the water.

© Studio Hamlet Architects

The living room has a couch that converts to a bed, in addition to the sleeping loft that is accessible by a step-ladder and is lit by four windows. To make more space for the sleeping loft, there is a dormer in the roof, but only on one side.

© Studio Hamlet Architects
© Studio Hamlet Architects

The bathroom is gorgeous and aqua-green, being effused with natural light from the skylight above.

© Studio Hamlet Architects
© Studio Hamlet Architects

Despite the rigid constraints, the architects nevertheless achieved a spacious, brightly-lit dwelling with a smart arrangement of spaces and some well-placed windows, all within a locale known for its abundant river wildlife and within a stone's throw of the city. Check out more over at Studio Hamlet Architects.

Tags: Architecture | Less Is More | Living With Less | Oregon | Small Spaces

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