by Pallavi MehraFeb 22, 2021
Dutch firm i29 Architects has built a sustainable Floating Home as part of a big urban masterplan designed by Space & Matter for a new floating village of 46 families in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Called the Schoonschip, the unique residential area aims to create Europe’s most sustainable floating community.
The location had a strong industrial past but is currently in a state of constant flux, therefore the city is transformed to become a multi-functional area where sustainability takes the lead with the implementation of the smart grid system, making the site self-sufficient.
With around 100 residents moving in, they have made it a possibility to revitalise and rejuvenate a disused canal by establishing an urban ecosystem through circular building practices within the city fabric - making efficient use of ambient energy, water for use and reuse, nutrient cycling, minimising waste and creating space for natural biodiversity.
Connecting the floating neighbourhood is a smart jetty, which serves a dual purpose by becoming a social connector at the top surface where people meet and also a sustainably functional connector at the bottom (below water surface) with all the energy, waste and water lines attached to every household connected together. Within the specific boundaries of every water plot and smart grid, every single home has a different language to its architecture and interior design.
The client’s brief challenged the Amsterdam-based i29 Architects to design a home that could maximise the space within the boundaries of the plot while also delivering a typical yet surprising house shape. For i29, architecture and interior design have always been intertwined and connected on each level to make a clear and unified experience. Therefore, the concept resulted in a floating volume consisting of a pitched roof, where the coping of the roof is turned diagonal in the floor plan to provide optimisation for the internal usable spaces and a distinctive architecture for the exteriors.
All areas of the Floating Home are in open connection to the atrium which features three floors. The layout is extended with a split level connection to a loggia terrace just above water level. The interior and facade play with the views on the outside as the views appear and disappear while moving through the home. While the basement offers direct water level views, the living room provides the view of the surroundings while being seated in the lounge, and the kitchen directs view towards the north and south sides of the canal and a cut out of the roof on the top floor enables a loggia and open terrace to provide the view of the harbour in the west.
The project Floating Home has been realised on a tight budget, where the simple yet smart interventions have a unified architecture and interior design, and in turn leave an impactful remark. The village is extremely energy efficient and eco-friendly, at the same time built with minimal footprint.
Name: Floating Home
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Building Area: 35,500 sqm
Design: i29 architects
Urban plan: Space & Matter
Interior builder: Simon Sintenie