News Home & Design Modern Floating Home is Part of a Bigger Floating Village How did we miss this? By Lloyd Alter Lloyd Alter Facebook Twitter Design Editor University of Toronto Lloyd Alter is Design Editor for Treehugger and teaches Sustainable Design at Ryerson University in Toronto. Learn about our editorial process Updated January 11, 2021 03:38PM EST Fact checked by Haley Mast Fact checked by Haley Mast LinkedIn Harvard University Extension School Haley Mast is a freelance writer, fact-checker, and small organic farmer in the Columbia River Gorge. She enjoys gardening, reporting on environmental topics, and spending her time outside snowboarding or foraging. Topics of expertise and interest include agriculture, conservation, ecology, and climate science. Learn about our fact checking process i29 / Ewout Huibers Share Twitter Pinterest Email News Environment Business & Policy Science Animals Home & Design Current Events Treehugger Voices News Archive Dutch interior architecture studio i29 sent us a press kit of a lovely floating home on a canal in Amsterdam. The architects write: "Our client challenged us to design a home which would maximize the space within the volume boundaries of the plot and still have a typical yet surprising house shape. The floating volume has a pitched roof, but the coping of the roof is turned diagonal in the floor plan which gives an optimization in usable space on the inside and an outspoken architectural design on the outside." Schoonschip. Space & Matter But what is really interesting is the community that the floating home is part of: Schoonschip, a floating village of 46 houseboats that has been under development for 10 years. Designed by Space & Matter, it is "a unique residential area: floating, sustainable, circular and initiated by a group of enthusiasts with a shared dream." Space & Matter writes: "Seventy percent of the world is covered in water, and the good thing is that we can easily live on it! Since urban areas struggle with high density, we should make better use of the space on the water. With Schoonschip we want to set the example, and show how living on water can be a great and better alternative for people and our planet." i29 / Ewout Huibers Every floating home is topped with solar panels that feed batteries but also feed into their own shared smart grid. They are heated and cooled with water source heat pumps. Black water from toilets and grey water from sinks and showers is piped separately and "will eventually be transported to a biorefinery to ferment it and convert it into energy." i29 / Ewout Huibers According to the Schoonschip website, there are no fossil fuels in the picture; no gas to the site, and owners agree to live without their own gas powered cars and to share the community's electric cars. Space & Matter The community is tied together by a "smart jetty" that acts as a social connector on top, and underneath has all the energy, waste, and water connections. The i29 architects write: "The new floating neighborhood is intended to be an urban ecosystem embedded within the fabric of the city: making full use of ambient energy and water for use and re-use, cycling nutrient." i29 / Ewout Huibers Inside the i29 floating home, it is all very minimalist and modern, with the kitchen and dining on the top level, with access to a deck. i29 / Ewout Huibers What they call the "living room" on the second, middle level is a bit odd, with that mile-long sofa just looking out the window. The architect says it "only gives a view on the surroundings when sitting in the lounge." The master bedroom is behind the wall with the sofa. This is the entry level; there is also a lower level with two smaller bedrooms. i29 / Ewout Huibers It certainly looks grand and expensive, but the architects say not so: "With simple yet smart interventions this project is realized on a tight budget but still has a unified architecture and interior design that leaves a strong impression. At the same time the floating home is extremely energy efficient, eco-friendly, and built with a small footprint. Sustainability goes even to a higher level with the implementation in the smart grid of the floating village. Energy can be even more valuable when you share it." i29 / Ewout Huibers The buildings in the background look interesting too, especially the wooden tower to the right. Every one of these floating homes had its own architect or designer; I will dig around and see if I can find any others to show.