Restored 100 yr. old houseboat is one alternative to London's housing crisis

Marco Monterzino
© Marco Monterzino

There's something indelibly romantic about houseboats. It's the idea of being able to float wherever you want, and the fact that they can be solar-powered, or built to a modern aesthetic, or to Passivhaus standards.

With the aim of restoring a century-old, ice-breaking barge and to find an alternative to the city's overheated housing market, London-based artist and designer Marco Monterzino created this stunning space for a local client.

Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino

Seen over at Domus, the 193-square-foot and 36-foot long houseboat (nicknamed "Liz") dates back to 1908 and was rescued from a former coal-mining region in northern England. These icebreaker boats were used to open up frozen canals for other boats to pass through during the winter. Here, Liz features a reworked interior that's been painted with a lot of white to maximize incoming sunlight, giving the illusion of greater space.

Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino

All the furniture has been laid out in a way that opens up the central space from the front to the rear of the vessel. The boat's systems have been restored and updated, on top of adding insulation and solar photovoltaics so that the water-bound home can be run off-grid for a short period of time (two weeks).

Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino

We love how the bathroom mirror overlaps that of the porthole window, creating a unique view.

Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino
Marco Monterzino© Marco Monterzino

The United Kingdom has some favourable regulations for houseboat owners; for example, in this case, due to a historic license, this boat can move around London's waterways and dock at designated spots for up to two weeks at a time. There are a lot of beautiful details in the interior here that make this modernized houseboat an attractive alternative to traditional housing. More over at Domus and Marco Monterzino.

Tags: Boats | Less Is More | Living With Less | London | Small Spaces

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